When I started my counselling practice it was from a desire to support people. I know the affect anxiety, depression or addiction has on people and families and felt that my own experiences put me in a position to give that support. So when I launched my practice it was to provide one to one counselling to people in my local community in North Kerry. Sometimes when clients contacted me for an appointment and inquired where my practice was based I often got the following responses ‘Oh that’s too far for me to travel’ or ‘I can’t make an evening appointment’ or ‘I’ve no childcare at that time’. I felt really bad for these clients as I know the courage it requires to take that first step and contact a service looking for help. This prompted me to launch my online counselling service. Why?
Firstly I believe that everyone has the right to support no matter what their circumstances are. Secondly I don’t believe location, mobility issues, time or childcare should be a barrier to counselling. And finally we live in the technology era which is rapidly changing how counsellors interact with clients. If I can provide support or information to someone living in remote areas or abroad then why not! To me it seemed only fitting that my counselling practice moved with the times making therapy more accessible to people than was formerly the situation.

At the time the idea of online counselling was relatively new to me so I wanted to do some research into it. I started by reading loads of information online which was all very positive. Not fully convinced I decided to speak to other counsellors who already provide an online counselling service to be told ‘Go for it’ and ‘Some of my best work with clients was done online’. I was convinced.

I decided to use Zoom for my online counselling service. I’m already familiar with this software so it was an easy choice for me. It’s free to download and is very user friendly which is a big bonus as I sometimes struggle with computer stuff!! After an upgrade to my internet connection it’s almost like the client is in the room with me. Next I had to take a walk in my potential clients’ shoes. Assuming that I am someone that has never used online counselling what would I need to know?

What are the benefits of online counselling?

Without geographical restrictions you aren’t limited to a local counsellor and you can see someone from any part of the country or world so you can choose a counsellor that best meets your needs. If you live in a remote area, have restricted mobility or do not have childcare online counselling gives you the opportunity to seek support. You don’t have the added costs of travel as you have your sessions in the comfort of your own home and this in return can also be less intimidating. If you travel a lot or work different shifts but want to keep attending the same counsellor then online counselling affords you the opportunity to do so.

How do you pay for online counselling?

For online counselling payment can be made using PayPal, Credit card, MasterCard, or Visa card so you have options when paying for the sessions. Some counsellors offer a low cost consultation session to ensure you are comfortable with speaking with someone online. I offer my clients a free 20 minute first consultation online which involves a quick chat about the process and what you need from counselling.

What do I need to do next?

Once you have a good internet connection you can have your session where ever you choose; at home, work, in the garden, wherever you feel most comfortable with. After that everything else about the sessions remains the same as a face to face counselling.
I understand that it can be difficult for people to approach a service due to the stigma that comes with addiction so if you think online counselling is something you might be interested in the please don’t hesitate to contact me for a quick chat.

For more information about my online counselling service click here

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