The popular face to face counselling is turning digital. As we grow up with our computers and smartphones, many people have begun and are receiving their counselling through these mediums. Is it as effective as face to face? Yes! But it depends on the person and their individual history. A good start to digital counselling is a phone call to the counsellor who will assess what type is best for you. Sometimes a mix is effective as you can get more sessions/ feedback/ and support when digital counselling is combined with face to face.
The digital counselling capability of today does give one huge advantage over face to face as it lowers the barrier to access counselling. What this means for a person seeking help:
- You don’t have to leave your home
- There are less anxiety triggers
- Great way to get a feel of what counselling is and provides
- Living in a remote area is no longer a barrier to top notch counselling
This has helped many people who were afraid to go to counselling, or unsure what it was all about, or were at a low point and decided to get help and could receive counselling instantly. The online counselling for addiction revolution will continue making great strides to improving access and availability of counselling for anyone at their most critical time of need.
For my practice, I currently offer face to face, phone, and Skype counselling. Starting off with a phone consultation, I am able to assess a person on how well they will do with Skype counselling and if that is an appropriate counselling medium for them. I find Skype video counselling to be a great communication tool as clients are more at ease from the beginning of the session and therefore more open to sharing everything they want help with sooner. Often for busy people, a blend of face to face and Skype when needed is the best solution to work around their schedule.
For counsellors looking to go digital, it isn’t that hard to start off with Skype. Get an account and start practicing with colleagues. Download the app on your computer or smartphone and then you can provide support from wherever. Then draw up a computer and smartphone guide (windows and apple versions) for your clients, and start offering your new service. You may want to offer free sessions with a client on top of their current face to face in order to gain experience, hone your technical capabilities, and way of conducting counselling digitally.