April 1, 2020
By: Anna Guest, RTC
Telephone & Online Video Calls Keep Counsellors & Clients Connected
At this point, every therapist I know has moved exclusively to doing phone or online counselling sessions during the coronavirus pandemic. For many clients, this is a very unwelcome change. As clients, we want to be with our therapist and feel their presence. We want that connection. How connected can we be through a phone or screen?
I will admit that I used to be skeptical in the past about online therapy. But the more I have experienced it (as both client and therapist), the more I am convinced that the connection we want does not depend on being in the same room with each other.
When I have phone sessions, I tune into the sound of my client’s voice. I imagine their face. When I have online video sessions, my client’s face is right in front of me, closer than if we were together in person!
Often, I get to see part of their home, or their pet, and see a slice of their life I might otherwise not get to be a part of. Then there is the fact that, for some clients, not having to get to their counsellor’s office is actually helpful – they may have long commutes, mobility challenges, or anxiety or depression may make it hard for them to get themselves out of the house.
If you are on the fence about online counselling, my advice is to give it a try and see how you feel. You may be surprised to find that the connection you seek is still there.
Tips for a successful online counselling session
- Have a spot where you can prop up your computer, tablet, or phone so that you do not have to be holding it for the whole session, and it keeps your screen still.
- You will want a space that is private. If you live in close quarters, have your roommates or family listen to music or watch Netflix with headphones while you are in session.
- Make the most of being at home if you can – do your session in your pajamas, or curled up under a blanket!
- Keep pets (who may have a calming or soothing influence) nearby to be with you in your session.
During the COVID-19 global health emergency, I and all the counsellors at Steadfast Counselling are working from home and seeing clients via phone and online counselling during our regular hours (days, evenings and weekends). These are challenging times and as we each deal with circumstances we haven’t faced before, it’s very important to take care of our mental wellbeing, just as much as our physical wellbeing. Counsellors can help. You’re not alone. We’re in this together.
There are 4 ways to book a telephone or online appointment with a Steadfast counsellor
- Online https://steadfastcounselling.janeapp.com/
- Email your counsellor directly
- Email our main email email@example.com
- Leave us a voicemail at 604-629-7108