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Did you know that counselling is available through Skype, online chat, and telephone as well as in person?

Written by Tim on 12 February 2016

The idea of going to counselling can be a daunting prospect, or for a number of different reasons it may not be possible practically. For many years counselling was undertaken in person, but with advancements in technology it is now possible to speak to a counsellor through Skype, online chat, or over the telephone. The decision to undertake therapy is still not easy but with the addition of these different platforms there is now more choice and freedom available.

Some therapists are still a little apprehensive about these new platforms and regard counselling in person as the only appropriate way. A lot of the understanding around how we develop as people is based around our past and current relationships or interactions with others. As most of these occur in person, it is also suggested that undertaking counselling in person is of most benefit. Alongside these concerns it is also true that the full range of communication is only available when sat in the same room, and any other platform is lacking in some way. For example, counselling over the telephone is unable to utilise any visual communication. However, these concerns do not mean that telephone, Skype, or online chat are ineffective. In fact, on the contrary, they all have a relevant and important place in counselling.

Skype counselling

An ever more popular form of therapy, Skype is supported by some as being as effective as traditional in person therapy. Sessions are very similar to in person but are simply via internet based video chat. It is remarkable that even on different sides of the world counselling can occur as though both client and therapist were in the same room. It is suitable for most counselling requirements and is very useful for those who either struggle to make it to a session elsewhere, or even just find it more convenient. Although still a form of virtual therapy this platform has all forms of communication available as long as picture and sound are of good quality.

Online chat counselling

While still a relatively new form of therapy, online chat is becoming increasingly popular. It is a dialogue based therapy but through the medium of an internet based chat room using typing. There are some very important benefits to this medium but there are also the most limitations here in contrast to traditional therapy. As well as removing the possibility for visual communication it also takes out the element of tone, pitch, intonation and all the other audio signals we commonly use. However, despite the possible draw backs, for a lot of counselling requirements online chat is an excellent platform and especially for those who may find the idea of coming to a session in person too daunting.

Telephone counselling

Telephone counselling is popular and has been around for a while. If you cannot access the internet, do not have the computer expertise necessary to set up Skype, or just prefer talking over the telephone then this maybe the best option for you. It provides a great platform for talking which can be used effectively to overcome a number of different issues. A good number of counselling services use this platform and many will testify to its effectiveness.

In person, Skype, online chat, and telephone counselling are all effective platforms for therapy. The advantages and disadvantages of each just need to be weighed up for each individual situation.