SKYPE therapy and Counselling
SKYPE therapy is another way I work with clients via SKYPE offering hour long sessions. SKYPE counselling has both opportunities and challenges as outlined below and in my interview with the BBC available to listen to below.
Here is an interview that I did with a colleague on the BBC talking about SKPE therapy and counselling.
A guide to therapy using Skype™
Skype therapy is becoming increasingly popular, it even has its own name now “Skypotherapy”!
By Andrew Harvey, MBACP, Cert Men Hlth Stud (Open).
What is it?
Psychotherapy, counselling and therapy are terms that are often used interchangeably. For this guide I will use the terms in the same way. The BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) definition of counselling is:
“Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing”. BACP www.bacp.co.uk
If you don’t already have Skype™ then here is a link to all you need to know to get started using it www.skype.com/en/what-is-skype/
Traditionally clients have met with a counsellor face to face together in a counselling room. Skype™ counselling moves from counsellor and client being together in a room to being connected via Skype™, counsellor located in their place of work and client wherever works for them, usually at home.
Why people might chose Skype™ counselling over face to face counselling.
- It’s often cheaper; many counsellors offer rates £10 or £5 below their face to face rate.
- It saves clients time, no travel to and from the counselling location.
- If you are away from home from time to time, you don’t have to miss your session, just plug in, log on and connect.
- Some people feel more comfortable working with a therapists who is not local to them, no chance of bumping into them at the post office!
- Sometimes therapists who work with Skype™ can offer greater flexibility in terms of session times, ideal for people with busy lives and shift workers.
- Many counsellors who use Skype™ offer a free brief consultation; this gives clients the chance to connect with 2 or 3 therapists easily to see who they can work with best.
- For some leaving home might be difficult, emotional or physical challenges might make it difficult to leave home. If leaving home is difficult part of the Skype™ therapy work might be working towards being able to meet face to face.
- Some clients may find it is easier to be open and more comfortable talking over Skype™ as opposed to face to face. Some research has shown that counselling via Skype™ can help people feel less inhibited and more forthright during their sessions.
- Greater choice, when you remove the limitation of travel many more possibilities become available to clients.
Challenges / Potential issues AND CAUTION!
- Isolation can become an issue for some when dealing with emotional difficulties. Here Skype™ therapy can offer a real opportunity for someone that is finding it difficult to go out. However it is important to maybe discuss with your therapist about your use of Skype™ therapy over face to face counselling.
- Confidentiality: ensure you are in a confidential setting for your sessions; you want to feel free to talk and be open.
- Technology can, and occasionally will, fail us. Most counsellors will agree with you what to do if you can’t make contact via Skype™ or if the connection fails.
- Skype™ is not appropriate for clients who are experiencing profound mental health issues and/or clients who are suicidal. If you or someone you know is in crisis a GP or local hospital will be able to help. Help can be found on my links page here Links .
- If at any time you feel uncomfortable working with your counsellor or Skype™ therapy I would encourage you to talk to them; remember you are in charge. You may find that Skype™ therapy is not for you, if that’s the case, and you are able I would encourage you to try face to face work as you may find this more appropriate for you and any challenges you may still be struggling with.
How can I “do” Skype™ counselling?
- You will need a Skype™connection, you can download the Skype™application for free, and this will guide you how to set up and even shows you how to make a test call. You will need a good connection, sound and picture for Skype™to work at its best.
- First find a therapist who provides Skype™ therapy who you might like to make contact with; initial contact might be via the phone and / or email. They will guide you from there. A good place to find an insured and qualified therapist is via this web site www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk. The author would recommend only working with a member of a reputable counselling organisation for example the BACP has a members register you can check here www.bacpregister.org.uk.
- Most sessions last 50 minutes or an hour, people often work with therapists once a week. You should have a contract, this might include issues relating to confidentiality, payment, how long, how often and when you will make contact with each other.
Author: Andrew Harvey www.CounsellingServiceNottingham.co.uk
Declaration of interest: The author of this article is a BACP registered therapist and listed on the It’s Good To Talk Website, he provides SKYPE and face to face counselling.
A clients experience …
“Andrew is a wonderful, caring counsellor who has become a trusted professional helping me with my anger issues. Andrew is prompt, courteous, and respectful of your time, and is never late for a session and has never canceled. I had my doubts about therapy via Skype, but living in a country where they didn’t speak English and the availability of mental health services very low I decided to give it a shot, and am I ever glad I did! I am happier, healthier, and more able to tackle the challenges in my life thanks to Andrew and owe him my sincerest thanks for everything.”