Client Guide – Get the most from your online counselling sessions

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It’s important to us that you get the most from your online counselling sessions

To help you prepare, here’s some of the benefits and some of the challenges of counselling by phone and video call:

To get the most from your online counselling session, you may want to think about the benefits of online counselling:

  • You can create a comfortable and private space in your own familiar surroundings, whether that be at home, in your garden or a peaceful place you have access to.
  • You may find it easy to talk, focus and express yourself.
  • You may enjoy wearing comfortable clothes, bringing a cup of tea and avoiding a commute after a therapy session.
  • Bring your pet too if that helps you to relax.
  • We can be more flexible with sessions times available during the day, in the evening and available 7 days a week.
  • Research shows that telephone and video call counselling sessions are as effective as in-person therapy.

Some of the challenges we may face could be to do with internet connection. We will share some instructions below to help get you set up.

Another challenge could be that you and your counsellor do not see the whole of each other. We can explain how devices can be set up to acheive eye contact.  However, cameras generally limit the view to the top half of our bodies. We may have to use more verbal explanations as a result.

It may be quite a demanding experience, especially for those using computer screens in everyday life.  We can spend some time building resources and developing a self-care plan to support you.

Getting Started

Video Calls – Prior to our session you will be sent a link, by email, to join a meeting. You can access this via desktop/laptop, by phone or tablet. You will need a camera and a microphone/headphones so that you and your counsellor can see and hear each other.

Telephone Calls – your counsellor will call you on the telephone number you have provided.

If you’re running late – please let us know. If we do not hear from you, your counsellor will wait for 15 minutes and then try to contact you by email, phone or text.

Get the most from your online counselling session

We want to provide you with the best online counselling and help you get the most from your online counselling sessions. This is a short guide of things to consider before, during and after your session.

  1. Take some time prior to your session to think about what you want to talk about.  Think about what you want to get out of the session
  2. Our counsellors will work in a private, quiet and uninterrupted space which is confidential.  We believe that you can get the most from your session, if you do the same. Make sure you have a space where you feel that you can relax and can speak freely without being over-heard.  Ensure you won’t get interruptions during your session.
  3. For video calls, in the event of signal or technology issues, your counsellor will call you to continue your session by phone.  We will call you on the telephone number we hold in our records. Please make sure that you inform us of any changes to your contact details.
  4. We do advise that you may want to think about some quiet time after your session. This enables you to have some reflective time, get some fresh air or even take a nap as sessions can be emotionally draining.

Your Counselling Sessions

When you book your session with one of our counsellors, the appointment slot is reserved for you. We need 24 hours’ notice to be able to provide sessions for clients waiting to have their counselling sessions and we are unable to reallocate your appointment time at short notice.

You might be interested to know about why counsellors often charge for the session when you cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice or do not attend. For some of them, this is about covering their costs, for example childcare, and turning away other clients to reserve session times. Some doctors, tutors and hairdressers may charge cancellation fees to cover these costs too. We want to be clear that the charge is not a punishment, it is an indication of the commitment and continuity of therapy for all our clients. Even when you are not here, your space is being held and our work continues.

We will send you a reminder 24 hours before your session.

Cancelling your session

If you need to cancel your session, please give us at least 24 hours’ notice.  We will always give you 24 hours’ notice if your counsellor is unable to attend your session due to illness or in exceptional circumstances.  Where we are unable to do this and the notice is less than 24 hours, your next session will be free of charge.

To cancel your session and request a refund, please complete the ‘Contact Us’ section on our website. Please provide at least 24 hours’ notice when cancelling your appointment so that we can arrange for a refund. Please note that refunds can take Paypal up to 7 days to process.

If you want to rearrange your session, please cancel and then book an alternative session.  Please note that your fee cannot be transferred to an alternative session.  Therefore, you may want to wait until you have received your refund before booking an alternative.

Arranging a refund

  1. Ensure that you give at least 24 hours’ notice when cancelling your appointment
  1. Advise us that you would like a refund by using the ‘Contact Us’ section on our website
  1. Please note that refunds can take Paypal up to 7 days.

If you don’t attend your counselling session

If you don’t attend your appointment, and you haven’t cancelled at least 24hours in advance, your fee for the counselling session is still payable.  In the event that you book and miss 2 appointments without contacting us to discuss it, we will assume that you no longer require our support.  You can rearrange your appointments, but you may have to wait for an appointment depending on demand.

Other Information

If you need help and support between sessions, please contact your GP. If you call outside of usual surgery hours you will hear a recorded message with details of the out of hours service.

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