Skype Counselling (for UK residents)
What is Skype Counselling?
Skype is a free online tool enabling people to make video link calls via their computers/laptops. Apple use a similar free tool called FaceTime, which I am also able to use. Skype is straightforward to download at this link: http://www.skype.com/en/ and gives you all the information you need to ensure it works on your device.
Why use Skype/FaceTime?
- For some clients there may be mobility issues, either due to physical disability or carer responsibilities, which limit the possibility of travelling to see a counsellor. Or a person may live somewhere remote where accessing a therapist by conventional means isn’t an option. Similarly for those people whose work or lifestyle means travelling a lot, they can still have a session away from home, including from abroad, if able to access a computer and a confidential, quiet space to talk.
- Some people may prefer to have a session whilst in their own homes, where they might feel more secure, in control and more able to speak openly. This may be particularly true where an emotional issue, such as anxiety or agoraphobia prohibits a journey to see a counsellor.
- Research has shown that the main ingredient which brings about change in counselling is the quality of the relationship the client has with their counsellor. Skype counselling means that a client isn’t limited by distance in their choice of a suitable counsellor to work with.
- It’s important to ensure that your broadband connection is good enough that the video and audio link is clear. Inevitably, things do go wrong at times with technology though it’s possible to have contingency plans if this happens.
- It might be argued that ultimately, there is no substitute for ‘in the flesh’, face to face contact with a counsellor, (and I may check with you what your own reasons are for choosing Skype) but this also depends upon how the client experiences the process and how comfortable with it they are.
- There are circumstances where Skype counselling is not appropriate –
Where a client is feeling suicidal, is actively self-harming, has significant addiction issues e.g. substance/alcohol misuse, internet addiction, eating disorders. Where a client is in acute crisis and/or has a serious mental health issue such as a psychotic illness or a personality disorder.
Such issues require accessing a GP in the first instance for referral to appropriate support.
If, subsequent to us having begun to work together we identify any of the above issues I will assist you in accessing appropriate alternative therapeutic support.
Skype has a security policy which you can access on their website: http://www.skype.com/en/security/
As a BACP Accredited and Registered counsellor I abide by its Ethical Framework: http://www.bacp.co.uk/admin/structure/files/pdf/9479_ethical%20framework%20jan2013.pdf
Initiating Skype Sessions
Contact me to arrange an initial free telephone conversation to discuss the issues affecting you, and for me to consider if I can usefully assist you via Skype counselling.
If I feel I can potentially help we can arrange a 30 minute Skype session to allow you to get a feel for working with me online, for me to take more information and to test the connection strength for visual and audio clarity. If, following this session you would like to continue and I think it’s clinically appropriate to do so, I will send you my Skype Counselling Agreement for you to agree and take further information.
Fees and Payment
My fee for a 60 minute session is £50. Reduced fee sessions may be available for low income clients.