Telephone Counselling…? How can that work…?
When I first thought about telephone counselling, I was a bit concerned about how effective this way of working could be compared with sitting in a room with my client. After all, how can you “see” what is going on when you are not in the same space?
So I took up some professional training to learn more about it.
The first thing we were told was that the training itself would take place over the ‘phone (perhaps obviously in hindsight!). What I quickly found was that it felt just as personal as working together in the same physical space. We got to know each others’ voices, the tones of voice and it was soon a very natural way of communicating. As the sessions went on, what became increasingly clear to me was that with any one sense taken away, we worked much more effectively with the ones remaining; in this case, without the usual visual cues and body language of our colleagues, our listening become more intensified.
And it also became clear that there were many benefits to offering this kind of service to clients – some more obvious than others:
- Clients are sometimes unable to travel, so counselling can be delivered to where you are based – anywhere with a telephone, of course
- Some people prefer not to meet in person and this way of working might feel more comfortable for you
- Busy lives and hectic schedules mean limited time and perhaps having a fixed hour with no travel might make the difference between taking up counselling or not – it can make it more accessible
So what were my conclusions?
- I believe telephone counselling offers a really effective way of having short term, long term or even one-off session therapy
- It provides a boundaried and ethical space to work in – when it is implemented professionally
- It is a contracted, professional counselling arrangement – treated no differently in that regard to when I meet clients face to face
- It is by no means a quicker or easier way to receive counselling – as with most things in life, what you put in, you gain out and this is no exception
- It is not a lesser quality kind of counselling – if anything, it can be more focused
I was convinced by this way of working. If you feel that telephone counselling would suit you, get in touch and we can have a conversation about it!