The benefits of online counselling are clear. Choosing a therapist online means you can choose the therapist that is most suited to you from a wider geographic location. Online counselling in the privacy of your own home can make it easier to feel safer and to be more open with a counsellor than if you are in their territory trying to open up about personal issues.
Things to look for in an online counsellor:
- Make sure they are accredited or belong to a professional body as this offers you legal protection should they violate professional boundaries.
- Check that the counsellor has experience – has their opinion been sought by the media? This can lend to credibility and expertise.
- Ask the counsellor if you could have a brief Skype session with them to meet online to see if you feel relaxed and at ease with them. Most counsellors should be willing to have 5-10 minute Skype chat with you for free in advance of possibly making an appointment.
- Ensure that the counsellor has experience in dealing with your particular issue (eg, anxiety or depression).
- Check for their method of working – a counsellor who has Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as part of their approach is a definite bonus.
Finding an online counsellor has an evidence based element to it (their qualifications and experience) but most importantly – see how you feel with their manner first. The most experienced and qualified counsellor will not be able to do a good job if you do not feel at ease with them.