Counselling options during Lockdown
With a second lockdown imminent this Thursday 5 November, I’m receiving many enquires about if face to face will continue and questions around online and telephone counselling.
Quite rightly people want to know how they can access support and if the various options available are suitable for them.
I hope to help by outlining what I can offer you right now so that you can make an informed decision about if counselling is right for you and which method may suit you in the short-term.
As I type this, the interpretation is that counselling is considered a health appointment. This may change! I will certainly keep you updated as the information is released. If you have concerns about your mental health and want to start counselling or are already having counselling and wish to continue over lockdown, then you are able to do so.
The Government are advising that: Support that is essential to deliver in person, where formally organised to provide therapy, can be allowed to continue.
Counsellors are being encouraged to work from home where possible however, we can continue to offer face to face sessions to clients if:
- A remote session at home will endanger you, cause a risk to life, or your issue is around someone you live with,
- If you have suffered a bereavement,
- If you are a victim of crime,
- If you are in drug and/or alcohol recovery,
- If you are a new parent or guardian,
- If you have an enduring long-term illness (both physical and mental)
- If you are facing issues relating to sexuality or gender.
What’s on offer for remote counselling sessions:
Video call sessions via Zoom. These sessions are private with a locking facility, easy to use and are the best replication of face to face that is possible in these tricky times. I will send you a link before your session, all you need to do before hand is download the Zoom application (on your initial session) to your chosen device and click the link on the day and time of the session and we’ll carry on as usual with a 50-minute time slot.
Telephone counselling. This is usually done via a WhatsApp audio call as it offers encryption; ensuring better privacy than using a landline or regular mobile call. If you don’t have WhatsApp you can still use landline or mobile although I would urge you to review the Remote Counselling Agreement Ts & Cs in your Welcome Pack (when you sign up) in order to understand the privacy aspects of this choice. Again, this will last for 50 minutes.
Email counselling. This is also a 50-minute session; it requires you to respond as you normally would, but through typing as opposed to speech. This is suitable if you have concerns about your privacy in your home or if the reason you are having counselling is to do with who you live with. It means your session remains private and secluded from those that you live with. I would only offer this to clients who have already worked with me as I would have a better sense of their responses, tone, reactions etc.
These are very personal choices and should you wish to try one or all of them then it ensures you can carry on with your progress over the lockdown month with minimal disturbance.
All require some technology, access to a telephone, a strong Wi-Fi signal, a fully charged battery and the same 50 minutes of privacy as you would get in a session, so if you do pick a remote method please ensure that you will not be disturbed for the full 50 minutes and that you can meet the above conditions necessary for a session to take place.
We can mix and match methods until you feel comfortable with one.
Please rest assured that I would not offer these remote options if I did not believe in the results that they produce. I have been working remotely since March and have assisted a large number of clients in this way to help them with their mental health concerns. Yes, it can take some getting used to the first session or two if you haven’t had experience of it, but the results are equal to face to face methods in the long-term.
If you have any questions about swapping over or starting up then please feel free to get in touch and I will be happy to answer any questions.