To proceed with Live Online Counselling ...
To book a free test session (optional)
If you like the idea of counselling ‘live online’ but you are unsure if your computer
is set up correctly or whether your connection speed is good enough you can request
a free 10 minute test session with me. Simply send a text to 07973 500180 suggesting
a few times you would be available (early morning/late evening is always good) and
whether you want to use Skype (you will also need to send me a contact request) or
FaceTime. I will send a text back confirming which of your times I can be available
(or suggest alternatives). Please note that this session is purely to test the ‘connection’
... by all means use the opportunity it to see if you feel comfortable talking on
a video link BUT it will not be a counselling session I will consciously avoid being
drawn on any issue you may later wish to bring to counselling.
To book a first session
First read the Information & Contract Form and make sure you understand
it and are able to accept its terms, if you are ...
book an available session on the booking page (you will have to pay for it to complete
the booking), then ...
return to the Information & Contract Form fill in all the compulsory parts ... and
click on the submit button to send the completed form back to me (it is an encrypted
form to safeguard your details). Please note I will be unable to start a session
unless you have emailed the form back to me. You will need to add my name to your
Skype contacts list.
At the appointed time call me (I will not call you: in this way we mirror
a face to face session in that it is your choice to turn up on time). If you do
not ‘turn up’ for the session I will send you just one email/text reminder asking
if you would like to reschedule. If you are late arriving for the session it will
be at my discretion (and availability) as to whether we are able to complete the
full 60 minutes.
To book further sessions
Just go to the booking page and book your session. There is no need to
resend the contract or your details I will already have a record of them. Ideally
in counselling we are looking for a regular time slot at weekly intervals, but we
will talk about this during our first session.
The Cost of an Online Counselling Session is: £40.00
Please be aware that online counselling cannot offer you support in an
emergency ... I may not be available to contact in time and as I am most likely not
local to you I would be unaware what emergency services may or may not be available
to you and how to contact them ... You will find some links on the ‘resources page’
that may be of use to you.
I look forward to our first session together!
The advantages and disadvantages:
With online counselling there is no physical travelling to do: this saves both time
and money. As there is no travelling to do, it is suitable for those with limited
transport, living in remote locations (and traffic congested inner cities) or with
a disability which makes travel difficult.
While online counselling is usually a ‘visual experience’ with the counsellor
and client connecting via webcam, it is also possible to use just the ‘sound’ of
a connection (in effect telephone counselling) for those that wish to work ‘live’
(synchronously) but would feel more comfortable not being seen (with the option of
adding vision as the counselling progresses if you wish).
It is often easier to arrange an online session at short notice.
The disadvantages to online counselling are mainly technical obstacles: the hardware
required the type of software used and the speed and reliability of the connection.
Consideration must also be given as to whether you are able to ensuring an uninterrupted
hour at your end: many computers are family computers in family rooms so you need
to know you will be free from interruptions and not overheard.
If you wish to connect from a work computer you must consider whether your use of
the Internet could be monitored of checked.
For those already experienced in using video conferencing/chat/counselling:
The chances are you will already know the capabilities of your hardware and connection
and probably have your favourite software installed. The problem with many video
chat programs is that they are not encrypted and someone along the route could listen
in … which is not good for counselling! I would therefore prefer to use one of three
methods: Skype, FaceTime (for those with a Mac) and hopefully by the end of March
2013 my own website embedded counselling room. All three of these are/will be encrypted
(although nobody really knows to what extent FaceTime and Skype are). If you are
comfortable with either Skype or FaceTime then carry on to the next section and book
your first session! If you would like to use a different application then please
email me and we will discuss it.
For those new to using a video link:
The first thing to consider is: it’s not difficult! … and you can always email me
for advice or book a test session. For a video link you will need: a reasonably
modern computer (1 GHz or faster duel core, running windows XP (service pack 3),
vista, windows 7 and 8 or a Mac with OS X V10.5 or later) or possibly a modern tablet/iPad
… a good reliable Internet connection (one that will continuously give 500 kbps or
more) … and a webcam (VGA or better). I hope by the end of March to have my own
website embedded counselling room: for this you will need no software you will just
click on the link to open the ‘room’ (nothing will be download onto your computer),
but until then there are two realistic methods for us to connect by: For those with
a PC (and Windows) we can use Skype, and for those with a Mac or iPad we can use
either Skype or FaceTime.
If you have a PC but do not have the Skype software there is a download link at
the foot of this page (I do not recommend downloading Skype for Windows 8, most people
find it easier to download ‘Skype for desktops’)
If you have a Mac or iPad the chances are you already have the FaceTime software
on your device (if not you can get it from the app store), if you prefer to use Skype
the download link at the bottom of this page will take you to Skype for Mac.