So how does it work?
Well the first time you make contact you will do so via the encrypted form
on the Start email counselling page, but from then on all you need do is return to
this page and log in at the bottom of it with the centralenglandcounselling.co.uk
email address you will have selected.
So lets work through the initial form step by step ...
On the Start email counselling page you will find a secure encrypted form.
It has various sections for you to read and fill in, once you have done this you
will be able to compose and send me your first ‘email’ (via the form).
The first section is the ‘pre-assessment’... it is very important that
you spend a few minutes reading this: it will highlight some of the circumstances
and issues that are NOT appropriate for email counselling. You must tick the box
to confirm that: you have read it, you are aware of the issues and circumstances
that make email counselling inappropriate and that none of them apply to you.
Second is the information section, were you must state: your name, age,
sex, address etc.
There is a section to tell me if you are on any medication, if you are
please give me the name of the medication and the dose you currently take, if none
please enter none.
read both of these and tick the box if you agree to them.
Now you choose your own centralenglandcounselling.co.uk encrypted email
address (I would suggest you use your first name followed by a full stop and then
your second name ... so you will have something like email@example.com)
and your password. This email is yours for the duration of our work together (there
is no extra or hidden cost with this email; it is supplied free to you). It is a
web-based email address similar to Hotmail or Gmail but it is encrypted and much
more secure. This email address is where I will send my replies to you and from
where you will send future emails to me. You will find a login box at the foot of
this page and this is the only page you will then need to visit in order to log on
and read my emails to you and send your emails to me. As it is a web-based email
there is NO program to downloaded onto your computer and provided you clear the browser
history and cache (you will find information on how to do this on the FAQ Page) there
should be no trace left for anyone to find once you close your browser.
We are now ready to begin! ... you will arrived at a text box where you
can compose and send your first email to me (a scroll bar will appear as you reach
the bottom of the box to give you more space).
In this email you should outline what is on your mind, what brings you
to counselling and possibly what you would like to achieve or take away from counselling.
You should include any background information (family, work, health, etc.) that
you feel is relevant to the issue. You have to remember what you are buying is my
time ... so there must be enough material there to keep me busy reading, digesting,
reflecting and composing my reply to you for a full hour. This can be difficult
the first time! ... people sometimes convey a lot of information in a few words and
sometimes convey little in many words ... but do not worry! ... it gets easier as
you go alone ... at first it is much better to write too much than not enough ...
if there is too much I will select and focus on what I think are the salient points
in my reply (there will always be the opportunity to bring unselected aspects back
up in future emails), after all that is partially the job of a counsellor to keep
you focused! My email to you will consist of me reflecting back to you what I feel
you have said to me in my words, I will tend to focus down on one or two aspects
and ask you to explore them in greater detail in your next email, by doing this we
will slowly ‘work’ the issue giving you an opportunity to share it (something you
may never have had the opportunity to do) explore different aspects of it ... possibly
feel more accepting of it and may be see it from a different perspective ... but
who knows where it will lead us! ... we are all unique and different people with
different live experiences ... it is a journey of discovery that I hope we will share
When you are happy with what you have written ... Hit the submit button!
... I will receive it at my secure email account; I will set your personal email
account up for you (usually within 24 hours) and will send my reply back to you at
your new email address within three working days.
All that is left for you to do after you have sent me your first email
is click on the pay button ... you need to do this for two reasons, first you will
be using a credit card, so I will have proof you are 18 years of age (and free to
reply to you), second ... well it’s just good to be paid!
The cost of Email Counselling is: £35.00 (per email)
Unfortunately as there is no automatic payment system for email counselling
(unlike live online counselling), I am relying on you to come and click on the pay
now button at the bottom of this page and pay me after each email you send me ..
I’m sure you will :-)
So what is Email Counselling:
Email counselling is counselling by the exchange of emails. You will write
an opening email to me outlining whatever it is that brings you to counselling, I
will read it, reflect on it and send one back to you, you will read my reply reflect
on it and again send one to me, and so the process continues for as long as needed,
just like traditional counselling sessions. It is an asynchronous form of communication:
we do not have to work at the same time, whereas in face to face counselling or live
Internet counselling we are both there at the same time with email counselling we
are alone when we work/write our emails.
‘I’m scared I might not be able to express myself in words and that my
English may not be good enough.’ This is something I often hear but is rarely the
case, if you are reading this page there is no reason why you cannot use email counselling.
Yes it can be difficult to put your feelings into written words but then it can be
just as difficult to put them into spoken words in face to face counselling. Spelling
and grammar are secondary ... it’s what you say that matters ... in fact you will
often see ‘bad grammar’ in my replies to you ... I will often leave a space and miss
lines to emphasis a pause or a place to stop and reflect ... I will occasionally
miss-spell a world to draw attention to it and I will make occasional use of emoticons
;-) ... and you will tend to do the same! (You will receive an email telling you
more about this)
There is no traditional none verbal communication in email counselling we
cannot look each other in the eye (or advert our gaze), we cannot hear the tone of
each other’s voice or see our facial expressions, often as important as what we actually
say! However we can make up for this in many ways, we can use ‘emotional bracketing’
... as well as writing about how we have felt about past events and how we think
future events may make us feel us we can we can put in brackets how we are feeling
right now as we write to each other [I am feeling really tied as I write this, it
is late in the evening, I’m worried I’m making mistakes but I’m also very excited
as I know my website is near completion and will be online soon].
There is evidence to suggest a ‘dis-inhibition effect’ occurs in email
counselling ... it appears people often feel more secure and comfortable and start
talking sooner about what is really on their mind than in face to face counselling.
Although we lose the immediacy and the spontaneity, of an hour together
it does not matter if you have an ‘off’ hour where you don’t really want to talk
or can’t put over what you really want to say or perhaps your mind is temporarily
somewhere else (may be something happened that morning that is not really part of
the issue but needs your immediate concentration) but you have to try because that
is the hour you have booked! In email counselling you will be encouraged (once it
has started) to take your time, possible re-read your email a few times and pause
for a while before sending it (it will also be 2/3 days before you receive my reply)
this gives you the opportunity to say what you really want to say. You will be able
to save our emails (and print them off) re-read them at your leisure, and look back
at them in the future, something many people find useful. You can start straight
away! ... there is no problem of trying to find a suitable time slot and then waiting
for it, you can go to the appropriate page on this site and start composing your
first email to me within about 10 minutes …
Unfortunately our normal email is a little like putting a postcard in
a letter box! Many people do not realise that it can be read by others as it travels
along the Internet (a little like a postcard could be read at the sorting office
or by the postman delivering it). For this reason when you start email counselling
you will be given (free of charge) an encrypted email address (this is like posting
a letter in a sealed envelope). It will also keep all your counselling emails out
of your normal email account and as it is a web based the emails will not be on your
The cost of Email Counselling is: £35.00 (per email)