It’s going to be different for every individual client and for every couple, but if you feel you need to see a counsellor at the moment and would rather not wait until the emergency period is over, then it’s worth a try.
How am I approaching regular working with clients on line?
With care…slowly….respectfully, I hope, …thinking about privacy, context, confidentiality, and the ways in which we can make it safe, and a good experience.
Working with individual clients, I find it’s less different than you would think, and clients who have tried it seem to agree. “it felt strange for the first few minutes, but once I relaxed and sat back, I didn’t really notice we weren’t in the room together”.
Finding somewhere quiet, private and sitting comfortably, not perched on a desk chair all seem to be key. Not feeling that we have to fill every second with words; that pauses are just as important online, as face to face, is also something we need to get used to. Making sure we can hear each other properly is really important too. And knowing that a bad connection will happen occasionally, so we need to allow a bit of extra time just in case. I’m also suggesting to clients that they use the ‘chat’ facility at the end of the session to let me know how they feel things have gone, and it will give me feedback which I can use to improve the experience for you and for others.
Couple counselling online is a new departure for me and as a Relate –trained counsellor, with years of experience of working face to face with couples, I have been consulting with other Relate-trained counsellors about how we can make this the best possible experience for you, the clients. I think the first thing to say is that in couple counselling the primary relationship is between the couple and I am there to help you talk to each other by asking useful questions and making suggestions which come from my training and experience of couple work. So I will spend lots of time encouraging you to talk to each other rather than just talking to me through the screen. I will be present, just as I am when we are face to face, helping you to talk to each other better, to say all the things that you often don’t think have been heard by your partner and I’ll be listening…..a lot.