Is online counselling as good as face to face counselling?
Online Counselling can be as effective and useful to the client if you are comfortable using technology to communicate and have the same commitment and motivation to engage in counselling.
It is possible to have a therapeutic relationship online.
The way that the counselling takes place certainly changes the nature of the communication, however, it is equally possible to work effectively with problems using this medium.
Working online is very different and may not suit all clients (or counsellors).
The most notable differences are: the lack of physical presence in the room, the potential for the disinhibition effect – where you may disclose more, sooner than you might with face to face counselling, the lack of spontaneity in email counselling, your ability to explore issues which you may find difficult whilst using technology, the increased potential for misunderstandings when using text, differences in the way confidentiality and security is addressed, plus increased accessibility/flexibility regarding your physical location and sessions.
All our online counsellors have additional training to manage the technology and communicating in this way, this is in line with our Ethical Framework for Good Practice as accredited individual and organisational members of our professional body The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
Who can access online counselling?
- You are able to access online counselling if you are studying abroad, on placements, or have accessibility needs that mean you have difficulties attending the face to face sessions. Additionally, you can request to have your one-to-one counselling sessions online, however, we may not alway be able to grant this request. Please indicate whether you would prefer to have counselling sessions online or in-person at question 73 on the counselling registration form.
- We may be unable to provide online counselling if you are feeling actively suicidal, engaging in serious self-harming behaviours or if you are currently severely unwell, e.g. experiencing a psychotic episode. In these circumstances it may be more appropriate for you to access face-to-face support with ourselves, or in conjunction with a local GP/psychological service. If you are studying abroad you may need to contact the study abroad team for further support options in your locality.
- Online counsellors will assess you for suitability for online counselling based on your presenting risk and throughout the online counselling process using CORE Net and their ongoing discussions with you.
- For more information about accessing online counselling, please visit our Accessing our services webpage.
Is it safe to work this way, will my information/identity be secure?
No service can offer 100% security. We have provided security precautions and it is important that you use them if they are to be effective.
Your security will be at a similar level as face to face counselling.
What is the CORE form?
CORE is a research tool we use to assist us in helping you, it is a questionnaire with 34 statements that you will be asked to complete prior to every session. We will send you an email with the link so you can complete it online. Using CORE enables you and your counsellor to consider what is going on for you on a weekly basis and to assess whether online counselling is still suitable and appears to be helping you.