Online counselling is the term used for a number of counselling methods, where the client does not meet in the same room as the counsellor or therapist for their therapy sessions. There are a number of reasons why people may choose one of these methods rather than face to face work. These include for example, living in a remote area where it is not possible to meet, or living in a country where it is difficult to find a counsellor offering counselling in your first language. It may also be issues about access for people with disabilities and/ or where travelling to your therapist is difficult. For some clients talking about a difficult topic such as sex can cause anxiety and stop the client accessing counselling. Online counselling can help overcome these and many more issues that stop people coming for face to face counselling. There are a number of different types of online work which are explained here.
Instant Messaging (IM)
Instant Messaging is a type of online counselling that takes the form of an agreed appointment time where you are at your computer and the counsellor is at his/hers. You use IM (instant messaging) such as MSN to talk using text based communication to explore the issues. This form of work is in real time. It will be important to establish certain boundaries or agreements between you and the therapist this is referred to as netiquette. It’s an agreed way to communicate using IM. So for example, you should know when the therapist has stopped talking and it is your turn to speak and visa verse. This will avoid misunderstandings. Your therapist will go through the netiquette of using IM in the first session, so that you get the best from this form of counselling. At this time we no longer offer this mode of online counselling.
This counselling takes the form of sending an email of about 1 – 1.5 pages outlining your issues and/ or problem to the counsellor at an agreed time each week. Your counsellor will then reply to your email by an agreed time also. It is usual that your counsellor will take about 3 days to respond to your email and you will then have 4 days to compose your next mail. This method is useful for clients who are on the move and unable to commit to a regular session allowing you as the client to compose your email at a time convenient to you, this could be in the morning or after work etc. Your counsellor will dedicate the same amount of time i.e. 60 minutes in responding to each email.
This method happens in real time where you speak to your counsellor using skype on your computer and they reply via the Skype programme that you both download to your computers. This allows you to use a webcam to see your therapist and speak and hear normally. This method is useful for clients who move around a lot or find it difficult to locate a therapist in their local area. Its importand to confirm that you have access to a quite room where you will not be interupted by others to be able to have counselling using this method. While being able to use your device and skype from any location can allow clients to speak to their therapist, this is is not an effective model to use unless you have access to a private room to have the session from. We can not offer skype counselling in any of the foillowiong: Airport, outside, beach, internet cafe, park or any location with a lot of noise.
Bangkok Counselling Service offers online counselling by counsellors trained to provide the above listed types of online counselling and you will receive the same high standard of support that is offered in our consulting rooms in Bangkok. Skype is the preferred alternative to meeting at our therapy room. Email counselling is also a practical option as it allows the client to stay focused on the important issues.
If you would like to book an online assessment session please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘counselling enquiry’ in the subject box. You are welcome to email any questions you have that you would like answered before booking an initial appointment.