When I worked in face-to-face counselling from my office in Bristol I absolutely loved it. I loved my work, I loved meeting my clients and seeing them work through their issues. I loved the reward of seeing someone completely change their life for the better. It was fantastic.
When I included online counselling in my offerings I was initially a little sceptical as to whether I would still be able to witness my client's achievements in the same way. To feel their feelings as strongly as I had, to support them as well as I hope I had in the past.
The reality of working online through video, voice and email, could not have surprised me more. I have seen some of my most transformative work happen with my online clients. Many of us have never met in person, but so what if they don't know what the back of my head looks like? Or what chairs I might have chosen for my office? They get the same therapeutic support in a convenient, flexible, effective way delivering them 50 minutes of uninterrupted counselling once a week.
One of the things that my clients say to me, again and again, is that without an unfamiliar environment around them they are less distracted. That having their sessions at home, or even in a car parked somewhere quiet where they won't be disturbed, having a cup of tea that they made themselves, being able to be home with sleeping children or taking some time off when they're sick - whatever the reason might be that works particularly well for them - makes the experience even more valuable. They don't have to change their lives to fit therapy in, it fits neatly around them.
Plus, there's the idea that therapy doesn't have to be limited to the few counsellors who are available in our local area. Working online opens us up to a whole world of therapists who might have a specialism in the thing we particularly want to work on, or that might seem to fit our personality. It frees us from the idea of a little old lady espousing her wisdom from a comfy chair in a shed at the bottom of her garden. It makes it something modern, something that we can be doing with a busy work schedule, it means we don't have to travel in horrendous traffic or find a non-existent parking space (Bristol, I'm looking at you). There's no cost to get to an office either, as long as we have data or wifi, we can have our session.
So if online therapy is something that you've been considering, but you're worried that either it won't work for you or you don't feel confident with the technology, I would urge you to give it a try. There's nothing to lose, and potentially a world of change in your life to gain.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more, or you can book a free 10-minute call to discuss therapy options on my services page. I also offer a reduced price 30-minute introductory session to try out the software and see if it works for you with no commitment.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Laura is an online talking therapist and writer specialising in working with millennials and the LGBTQI+ community.