With all the 'upheaval' in the world right now, it's more important than ever to be aware of our health and safety, but also to acknowledge that, just because we're spending so much more time indoors, life's 'normal' difficulties haven't simply disappeared. That's when telephone- or online counselling--also called Remote Counselling--comes in.
Remote Counselling is an odd one. Instinctively, the vast majority of clients are hesitant about the idea of being vulnerable with someone who isn't even in the same room: they worry that they might feel silly, crying into a phone, or that the counsellor might judge them for the webcam view of their living room wall. And yet, with very few exceptions, once they're in the swing of things, clients can actually find remote counselling more helpful than face-to-face!
In this time of social distancing and self-isolation, maybe now's the time to give it a try.
Let's face it: in the strange year that is 2020, everybody has a miniature computer with them, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Long gone are the days when we could use the excuse, "I would have called, but I couldn't find a phone!" For counselling purposes, this means that everybody, everywhere can now have access to the support they need.
Talking over the telephone can be very helpful for clients who find it difficult to look someone in the eye when they're talking, or who really struggle to sit under the scrutiny of a counsellor who's been trained to pick up on body language. Here, they can enjoy the safety that that distance offers, as well as the security of being in a familiar environment. It also encourages clients to be a bit more vocal about how they're feeling, which speeds up that initial process of becoming 'in tune' with one's own emotions. You really would be surprised by how effective it is.
Online counselling (usually using Skype, Zoom, or Whatsapp) is kind of a half-way house between face-to-face and telephone counselling, offering a friendly face alongside the convenience of not needing to travel to a particular venue.
Online counselling is particularly perfect for younger clients. They get the visual cues so vital to their social and emotional development, but they also benefit from the inherent safety of being at home, in familiar surroundings, with a screen between them and the person asking all the difficult questions (with the added bonus that they get to 'fudge' their dice rolls, if they're doing Quest Therapy!). It's not unusual for these younger clients to feel nervous or uncomfortable about the idea of talking to a stranger on their screen, but they will honestly be amazed at how quickly they settle into the routine.