Online counselling is a proven and effective way of working, but it may be new to you and it's a little different to face to face counselling.
Firstly, you need to decide which device you are going to use for the session. It can be your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
Make sure all the updates are installed on whichever device you're using so that your machine is protected from viruses.
Video conferencing can use more power than a phone call. You'll need to make sure you're battery is fully charged and you have a power connection.
You'll also need to ensure you have a good wifi signal and where possible, try to avoid using a public wifi service such as an internet café as this is not secure.
Make sure you have a backup e.g. landline or mobile phone so that if your connection or devices fail, your counsellor can contact you.
As with face to face counselling, we will be using a quiet, private space to ensure your privacy and confidentiality. You need to think about the room you are going to be using. It needs to be comfortable, private and somewhere where you won't be disturbed or overheard. You'll need to ensure that anyone in the house knows not to disturb you.
You'll need to consider how to reduce distractions, for example do you need to put your pet outside the room and put your phone on silent.
We don’t mind if you want to wear your PJs or get wrapped up in a duvet if that feels more comfortable but we do ask that you cover up to spare our blushes. You may wish to bring tissues; a drink and a notepad and pen.
We can talk via video link or telephone, however we ask that you please respect the confidential space so no screen shots or recording as this is in breach of GDPR.
If we lose connection, we will contact you by telephone on the number you've provided. Your phone will be on silent so please remember to check it if we lose connection.
We understand you may be anxious but we're here to support you. Online counselling may be different, but it will still a valuable source of support in these difficult times. We can address any issues or concerns in our first session and we can talk about how we can work together in this way, safely.