Online counselling therapy is a way for you to engage in counselling using internet technology such as email, online chat,  telephone or webcam video.
You direct your counselling by selecting the method of communication you feel most comfortable with. You choose the time, the place and the pace of your counselling to suit your needs.
Maureen will make every effort  to provide a safe and secure environment for your online therapy with encryption software to protect your confidentiality and security.

How it works
Online counselling chat room
Should you choose the online chat room you will be directed to a secure login page that takes you to an encrypted area where you meet Maureen at a time that was prearranged beforehand.
Your session is 60 minutes and a transcript is available afterwards allowing you to review what both you her have said. This gives you the opportunity to clarify any uncertainties you may have from your session and also leaves you with something to go back to as you process the information. You do not need a webcam for this counselling and you may chose to remain anonymous should you wish.

Webcam counselling
Zoom is a way for you to see Maureen face-to-face from your computer whilst engaging in therapy. You will be guided through setting up your own encrypted Zoom account and you will meet her on Zoom at a time that you have previously arranged. Sessions are 60 minutes in length. Being able to see Maureen gives you more of the benefits you get from face-to-face counselling but with the convenience of online therapy. By talking you hear tone of voice which is a way to convey empathy and with video you see nonverbal communications such as facial expressions.

Email counselling
Counselling using email offers you the opportunity to consider what you wish to say before you send it, as well as time between exchanges to reflect on the information you have received. You will be guided in how to set up a secure email account and will then have a set amount of email contacts with Maureen.  Email counselling is also sometimes used in between more structured sessions such as online chat, telephone or webcam counselling. A consideration of email counselling is the time delay between your mail and the return mail and this makes email counselling ineffective when urgency is a priority.

Telephone counselling
This is similar to webcam counselling as it happens through the Zoom system, or via a handset, but without the visual aspects. You can choose to remain anonymous and the conversation is encrypted if held on Zoom.
An advantage of telephone counselling is that non-verbal communication can be carried in you tone of voice or the pace of speech which can be picked up by Maureen.
A disadvantage of telephone counselling is that you need a private room where you will not be overheard.


Online counselling offers certain benefits but there are also limitations that are worth bearing in mind when deciding which type of therapy will best suit your needs.

Benefits
• Counselling therapy from your own home at a time that suits you
• Secure inscription software offers confidentiality and peace of mind
• No chance that you may be seen entering the counsellors practice
• When using email or online chat, you are able to review what you are saying before sending
• Therapy at a time, place and pace that suits you
• Some find it easier to express their feelings by writing it down
• Access to counselling may be more immediate
• Flexibility to chose the technology you feel is best for you: telephone, email, live chat or webcam

Things to consider
• Are you comfortable using internet technology?
• Would you prefer to see your counsellor face-to-face?
• Do you feel you can express your feelings effectively using words?
• Do you feel your situation is too complex to discuss via the internet?
• Is there a computer terminal that you can use privately without interruption?
• Text communication can sometimes be open to misunderstanding
• There are no nonverbal cues or body lang

Confidentiality
Online counselling therapy take place within a secure, encrypted environment to offer you confidentiality and safety. Email correspondence is encouraged through a secure mail server and you will be instructed on how to set up a confidential email account for your counselling therapy.
Telephone and webcam counselling take advantage of the encrypted services offered by Zoom and Maureen will guide you through setting up a free account for your therapy.