Perhaps it has been inevitable but with the internet changing the way we all interact with our friends, family and business associates, it was only a matter of time before the internet changed the way we interact with the experienced practitioners who can help with health issues. Online Counselling has sometimes been referred to e-counselling or e-therapy. Online counselling is a way of accessing help from a professional counsellor without visiting their place of work. Instead, the counselling sessions occur online in a private chatroom or by email.
Technology has driven these changes. Now, health services such as life coaching and NLP are available through the internet. However, online counselling risks missing the crucial and often subtle cues that can be gained from a physical meeting between counsellor and client. What one senses as a counsellor can be missed when one is using the medium of the internet. On the other side of the coin sufferers of agoraphobia, depression and panic attacks can find it physically hard or even impossible to leave their house. Such clients could benefit from this way of working. Furthermore, a large number of clients may also perceive that their issues are too extraordinary to discuss in face to face meetings.
Online counselling inevitably brings up issues of privacy of data related to the consultations and the storage of notes. There may also be concerns about potential hacking of the actual webchat. Clients need to be reassured about the security measures that the counsellor takes to protect client confidentiality. Any online counsellor should seek to provide these assurances on their website.
Noel Bell is an integrative psychotherapist. That means that I use a range of tools and techniques to best meet the needs of each particular client. I believe therapy should be based on what the client needs, rather than getting clients to comply with standardised treatments. Being integrative means being committed to the whole project of therapy, rather than to a particular approach.
Online counselling can be very useful for short specific issues that require short term therapy techniques. Check out the resources listed at the bottom of the page for further information.
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