‘FaceTime’ or ‘Zoom’ Counselling
Technology is rapidly changing the ways we can interact with each other, and counselling is no exception. ‘FaceTime’ is free ‘Apple’ video conferencing software which allows people to talk face to face in real time through a computer or Apple device. ‘Zoom’ and ‘Skype’ are software applications which work in a similar way. All offer secure and confidential online meetings in real time.
To access counselling through ‘FaceTime’ you will need a device with the ‘FaceTime’ App installed (such as an Apple Mac, MacBook, or IPad). ‘Skype’ or ‘Zoom’ requires you to download the relevant software onto your device. You will need a PC, laptop or phone with a webcam. You will also need a good broadband connection and somewhere quiet and private you can speak without being overheard or interrupted.
The Counsellor will agree with you what happens should the technology fail, but in all other respects the counselling relationship will be the same as a ‘face to face’ one. The Counsellor will speak to you from a private room and all rules of confidentiality will apply as if the counselling was taking place face to face.
Counselling using videoconferencing tools in this way can provide an effective solution for a wide range of individuals and circumstances. One of its key advantages is convenience. For example, it can be useful if you are unable to get to the Counsellor in person because of childcare commitments, mobility issues, or because you live in a remote area. It can also be used for follow up sessions once you have met the Counsellor in person. For those with busy lives it also saves the cost and time involved in travelling.
Videoconferencing also means you are not limited to Counsellors in your own area. The right therapist for you may not be nearby and videoconferencing allows you to access Counsellors anywhere. It is also true that some people feel more comfortable and open being in their own home, or value being able to work with a Counsellor from outside their own locality or community.
However, counselling by video conference is not for everyone or every situation. Some people are much more comfortable with the immediacy of face to face counselling, and there are some issues that are much better dealt with face to face.