This is real-time counselling using audio (microphone) and visual (webcam) technology over the internet. Video calls are placed using Skype of Vsee software which can easily be downloaded to your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
There are similarities to in-person/face-to-face counselling in that it happens in real-time and you can see your counsellor’s face and shoulders. It is different to traditional in-person counselling as it can take place in the comfort of your own home but not all body language can be observed. It can be a convenient and affordable way to access counselling.
In 2014 I carried out a small piece of research, for my Masters degree, that indicates that online video call counselling can be effective for clients when measured against global assessment of functioning (GAF), academic retention and client feedback.
There are some guidelines for online video counselling which I send to clients prior to our first appointment. The main points are that you are in a quiet and confidential space for your counselling sessions, where you cannot be interrupted or overheard. You may wish to take some time prior to our online video call counselling session to gather your thoughts and think about what you wish to discuss. You may also wish to allow some time after your video call counselling appointment to reflect on what has been discussed and note any feelings that you may have or thoughts to pick up on for next time.
I am UK based though I am able to work with clients based in other countries for online video counselling. My registration as a psychologist in Australia uniquely places me a professional position to work with clients based in that region.