Understanding Online Counselling

If you have been suffering from mental ill health, such as anxiety or depression, or are facing difficult changes or decisions in your life that feel overwhelming, you might be considering talking to an online psychotherapist or counsellor to help to transform your life. This page covers the pros and cons of online therapy, the best way to find a counsellor to talk to online and the potential issues you need to look out for.

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How does online counselling by video chat work?

Many of the factors involved in online therapy via webcam are the same as in-person counselling. For example, arriving on time and being honest with yourself and with your therapist. However, there are other provisions that you will need to make when engaging in therapy online:
  • A good internet connection
It is frustrating and disappointing to set up a video call and pay for an online counselling session only to find that your connection does not work. Breaks in sound and issues with video quality will affect your experience of therapy negatively. This may interrupt you being able to make a connection with your therapist both practically and emotionally.
  • A quiet, private place
Confidentiality for counselling requires that both you and your therapist connect from a quiet place that is free from distractions and respects your privacy. This makes crowded public areas or family spaces out of the question. You may want to use headphones, so that only you can hear what your therapist is saying.
  • Access to video conferencing services
You may need to download the software that your online counselling will take place on.
If you’d like to start online counselling, the UK’s leading booking platform for counselling and psychotherapy makes it simple to find and book a qualified therapist at the time and cost that suits you, to meet online as soon as tomorrow.
See our recommenced therapists below, or start your own search here to begin your journey to well-being.

Should I get counselling online?

Benefits of online counselling:

  • More choice
Rather than limiting yourself to only therapist within a certain location, there are hundreds of therapists across the UK and globally who you can connect with via Skype for online depression counselling, relationship counselling and more. This means that, if there are not therapists near enough for you to meet in person, you can still access professional help online. The opportunity to talk to a therapist online also means that you may be better able to find a therapist who is specialised in the specific approach you would like or the issue you would like to talk about, instead of being limited to the counsellors and psychologists in your area.
  • Effective
Although many are skeptical about online counselling, there have been studies published that advocate its benefits, including patients reporting ‘high levels of satisfaction’ in a review by The World Journal of Psychiatry and a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which found that online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) effectively reduced symptoms of depression and other mental health issues amongst participants.
  • Convenience and flexibility
Meeting online means that there is zero travel time to and from therapy and sessions can be attended in circumstances that otherwise might not be possible. Whether you travel often for work or suffer from illnesses that make it difficult to leave the house, you can see your therapist provided you have a private, quiet space and an internet connection.
  • Confidentiality
If you live in a small town or neighbourhood, you may be worried that you will run into your therapist outside of your therapy session, or that you may be connected to your therapist through other acquaintances. In this case, scheduling an online counselling session with a therapist who lives in a different location may give you more peace of mind.
  • Dual location relationship counselling
Online relationship counselling might be an option for you and your partner or other family members when you are living in different locations, either temporarily or permanently. In this way, you can engage with group or couple relationship counselling online together, which would not be possible otherwise.