There is more to online counselling than just the communication between therapist and client. To ensure you get the most out of your session and receive the care and attention you deserve it is important to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
Following these essential steps will help to make your online sessions as productive as possible:
Make sure you are at home, or somewhere that you feel comfortable, secure and able to speak freely. If possible, make sure that you are alone or, at the very least, undisturbed and without distractions. You should be able to give the session, and yourself, the fullest attention. If you are using a smartphone rather than a computer, make sure you are indoors where you can be heard and understood.
Good Internet Connection
As much as possible, ensure that you are accessing a strong internet connection. Signal failures and lags in communication can cause unwelcome stress and frustration, hindering the positive advances which will arise from your session. Perhaps it would be worth testing the connection before the session begins to make sure the session is not broken.
Secure Internet Connection
Ensure that you are using a secure, password protected and private, internet connection. Your home broadband should be password protected and suitable, as will be the mobile internet on your smart phone (although you should ensure you are not running up a charge by using this). Do NOT use public WiFi hot-spots or other unsecured connections. Privacy and confidentiality can only be ensured through properly protected signals.
It is further recommended that clients use a secure server, virtual Private Network (VPN) or Hushmail for email communication.
When is this Not a Good Option?
There are areas in which online counselling is not a useful alternative. For example, hypnotherapy is usually only suitable for face to face sessions. I do not offer online sessions to clients under the age of 18 years unless this has been set up with me by a parent or guardian.