Online Counselling: An Overview – Key Points and Facts

Many clients are wary about using video for counselling therapy, so I’ve put together a short page explaining it in more detail. If you’d like to schedule online therapy or an in-person counselling appointment in Barnsley, call me (Tracy Simpson) on 07903 274 683 or book online.

Definition and Mediums

  • Online counselling (teletherapy, telehealth, e-therapy) provides mental health services via the Internet.
  • Standard methods include video calls, phone calls, emails, and text messaging.

Accessibility and Convenience

Online counselling is ideal for those with busy schedules, mobility issues, or remote areas. It enables therapy access from home, reducing travel and stress.

Effectiveness

  • Research shows online therapy, such as CBT and DBT, can be as effective as in-person therapy for treating depression, anxiety, and stress.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Sessions are conducted through secure, encrypted platforms, ensuring privacy and security. This appeals to those seeking discreet mental health support.

Cost

Online counselling is generally more affordable due to reduced overheads. Subscription models are available, further lowering costs.

Flexibility

Online counselling offers scheduling flexibility, accommodating irregular work hours and family commitments, and empowering individuals to control their mental health journey.

Issues Addressed

  • Suitable for anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and stress management.
  • Not suitable for severe mental health conditions requiring close, direct intervention.

Therapeutic Relationship

  • Therapists use techniques to build strong connections despite physical distance, with clear visual and auditory connections during sessions crucial.

Ethical and Professional Standards

Online counsellors follow the same ethical standards as in-person therapists, ensuring high-quality care and professional conduct.

Limitations

  • It is not suitable for individuals in crisis or needing intensive treatment.
  • Technical issues, like poor internet connectivity, can disrupt sessions.

Technology Requirements

  • Reliable Internet, a device with a camera, microphone, and private space are necessary.

Different Modes of Online Therapy

  • Video Calls: Enhance communication and understanding.
  • Phone Calls: For those without video technology or preferring no camera.
  • Emails: Provide a written record for reflection and progress tracking.
  • Text Messaging: Real-time support and convenient check-ins.

Training and Qualifications

Verify therapist credentials with professional bodies like BACP, NCPS, or UKCP to ensure you are dealing with a qualified professional.

User Experiences and Testimonials

Real-life stories offer insights into the benefits and challenges of online counselling.

Integration with Other Health Services

For holistic mental health care, online counselling can be combined with other health services, like medication management or physical health monitoring.

Future Trends

AI, therapy apps, and virtual reality therapy are advancing telehealth technology, potentially enhancing the effectiveness and accessibility of online counselling.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

  • Importance of confidentiality and data protection regulations.
  • Clients should be informed about their rights and emergency protocols.

Pros and Cons of UK-Based Online-Only Therapy Platforms

Pros:

  • High Flexibility: Sessions can be scheduled to fit various schedules.
  • Accessibility: Services are available from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Affordability: Some platforms offer affordable sessions and subscription models.
  • Variety of Services: Wide range of therapy types, including individual, couples, and specialized therapy.
  • Qualified Therapists: Services provided by registered and experienced therapists.
  • Evidence-Based: Use of treatments like CBT.
  • Detailed Records: Some platforms offer detailed session records.
  • Easy Matching Process: Simple process for matching with suitable counsellors.

Cons:

  • Not Suitable for Severe Issues: Not appropriate for severe mental health conditions needing direct intervention.
  • Limited Interaction Formats: Some platforms are primarily text-based, which might not suit everyone.
  • Cost and Platform Fees: Some platforms can be expensive, with a significant part of client fees going to the platform.
  • Mixed Formats: Offering both online and face-to-face sessions may complicate consistency.
  • Eligibility Checks: Some services require eligibility checks, limiting access.

Click here for a more detailed synopsis of online counselling.