There are advantages to counselling online over traditional face-to-face work, particularly if accessing the right person is difficult due to location or restricted choice. In addition, online support works well for people whose lifestyles or commitments make it difficult to attend a set time each week.
In online work, we can agree mutually convenient times on a week-to-week basis and you can meet with me from the comfort of your own home or another location with appropriate privacy.
Here are a couple of ways in which we can work online:
- Video call – In this form, we can see and hear each other. Sessions last 50 minutes and this format is similar to face-to-face psychotherapy, coaching or supervision. Your computer will need to have a microphone and webcam for this to work. I use PlusGuidance which is a fully encrypted online platform that works in a similar way to Skype. I will send you an invitation to sign up when we have agreed to commence working together. To use PlusGuidance you need to have Google Chrome.
- Voice call – This is similar to a phone call, but takes place over the internet. We can hear each other, but not see each other. As above, this takes place using PlusGuidance.
- Sessions of either type last 50 minutes.
When is working online not suitable?
Some issues, particularly if you are seeking therapeutic support, are much more suited to face-to-face therapeutic input rather than working online. For example, it is not suitable to work online when you are in a crisis or need immediate assistance, or if you do not have access to the internet in a private, secure environment. I will let you know if I don’t think online work is suitable for you and where to seek the right kind of help.
I conduct online work via a secure platform called PlusGuidance (see www.plusguidance.com). This program is encrypted and provides the highest data protection standards.
I work according to the ethical framework of good practice as specified by the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC), of which i am a full member. This means if you have any concerns or complaints you can raise them with these professional bodies.
I keep what you tell me confidential and will not talk to anyone about what we talk about together, with the exception of my supervisor. All practitioners talk about their work with a supervisor, who makes sure the work is effective. When I talk to my supervisor, your identity is not disclosed and the focus of this input is to make sure I am providing a good service to you.
You must also keep our interactions confidential. You can take care of confidentiality issues by:
- Ensuring that you are in a private environment where no-one can overhear you or see your computer
- Making sure no-one is coming and going into the room
- Not leaving computer/emails unsupervised
- Password protecting if keeping drafts of emails
- Protecting login details
It is also in our contract that you do not publish in any form on social media or elsewhere the exchanges we have had.