Online counselling is a way of accessing therapy without needing to see your therapist in person.
During 2020 when many of us have had to move large portions of our life into the virtual realm, the ability to still talk to a therapist has been vital. Especially with the potential extra stresses and anxiety many are feeling due to the pandemic.
But at BMC, online counselling is not a new service, we’ve been offering it for many years. We believe that location should be no barrier to accessing quality therapeutic services.
There can be many reasons you can’t see your chosen therapist face-to-face. They might simply be located too far from you, making it inconvenient. Or it may work better for your schedule to not have to travel to access therapy, or you might simply be more comfortable in your own home.
If you’re considering going to online counselling, we’ve answered some of the questions you might have about it:
How does online counselling work?
Once you’ve got in touch with us, which you can do here, we will arrange a discovery call with one of our fully trained and friendly counsellors.
A discovery call is a free 20-minute phone call. During that call you and your counsellor will get to know each other and discuss what sessions may be needed in order to start moving forwards and making positive changes in your life.
Following the call, we’ll arrange your online counselling sessions. These take place via Zoom or Skype and generally last for one hour.
Is online counselling confidential?
Yes. Just like face-to-face counselling, online therapy sessions are completely confidential.
We maintain confidentiality by using Zoom and Skype which have secure end-to-end encryption. You and your counsellor will also sign a confidentiality agreement before the sessions start.
What kind of therapy services are available online?
At BMC all of our therapy services are available both face-to-face, in London, Beirut and Cyprus, and online. These include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Relational Therapy
Is online counselling as effective as face-to-face?
Yes. Online counselling is just as effective as seeing a therapist in person.
While you won’t be physically together, you can still build a positive relationship with your therapist. With their skill and experience they’ll still be able to support you to explore any issues and ensure that you feel heard and understood.
Regardless of whether you are in the same room or not, they will create a safe space and non-judgmental atmosphere to help you begin overcoming any roadblocks you feel are holding you back from living the life you really want.
Several studies have shown just how effective online counselling can be.
Online cognitive behavioural therapy was found to be equally as effective as face-to-face treatment for major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder, in a 2018 study in the Journal of Psychological Disorders.
And, in a study carried out by the University of Zurich, online counselling was found to be even more effective than face-to-face therapy. The study showed that at the end of the treatment, more of those who took part in online counselling were no longer diagnosed with depression, compared to those who had seen a therapist in person.
During follow-up sessions, the study also found that rates of recovery were higher for those who had online treatment.
How can I best prepare for an online counselling session?
To make you get the most out of your online counselling, there are a few steps you can take:
- Be alone during the session
- Avoid any distractions during the session, i.e, put your phone on silent or have it in another room, if you have children try and choose a time when they’re asleep or not home etc.
- Have a good internet connection
- Sit somewhere so that the therapist can see you clearly
- Be in a quiet/relaxing place
- Have an open mind.
What are the benefits of online counselling?
As we have discussed above, online counselling can be just as effective – if not, more so – than face-to-face treatment.
But it can also be more flexible, accessible and convenient to access counselling online. That’s because you are not constricted to the geographical location of where you live or where your counsellor is based.
It also means that if you require or are interested in a particular type of therapy that isn’t offered locally, you can still access the help that you need.
For some, especially if it is your first time going to therapy, it may feel a little intimidating or scary. Being able to get the support you’re looking for from the comfort zone of your own home, rather than a more formal setting, can go a long way to making that step feel less daunting.
Online counselling can also be more time-efficient as, while the actual counselling session will still take the same amount of time, there is obviously no time spent travelling to the session. Many people find that this fits in better with their busy schedules and suits their lifestyle.
Online counselling can also be more cost-effective, as there are fewer overhead costs for the counsellor, meaning the cost to you is usually reduced.
So, if you are looking to take the first steps to healing. Why not start today with us?
Let’s start the journey together.