Clearview Counselling Professional Trauma Counselling in Sittingbourne, Kent

Not all presenting issues are suitable for online counselling. If you are in crisis and feeling suicidal your needs are best met via face to face counselling. If you require immediate support contact your GP, local out of hours GP service or present yourself to your local accident and emergency department. If you have a severe mental health issue such as psychosis your needs are also best meet through face to face counselling.

Visit www.samaritans.org or www.befrienders.org for additional help.


Where I feel online counselling would not be the most suitable means of support, I will make every effort to assist you in a referral to a suitable alternative source of support.

I am not able to provide online counselling to any person who is under the age of 18. If this applies to you, I can help with information on referral to other agencies providing face to face counselling services or online work which is specifically directed to a younger age group.


Benefits of Online Counselling

  • Support can be accessed from anywhere if you have a reliable internet connection
  • It is beneficial for clients unable to leave home easily
  • It can be helpful if you can't find a local counsellor to work with.
  • For email therapy, scheduling is not an issue.
  • Therapy can be accessed even in a remote area where traditional counselling may be unavailable
  • You can work with the same therapist even if your lifestyle or job requires you to move around a lot
  • Many clients choose online therapy because it feels less intimidating
  • It can be more successful for those feeling more at ease when working with the written word.
  • Often the process of writing down the things that are on your mind proves helpful in itself
  • It may be effective in recuding social stigma sometimes associated with receiving therapy
  • Counselling in comfortable and familiar surroundings may allow you to be more open

  • Types of Online Counselling

    Instant Messaging Counselling
    Instant messaging counselling is carried out at a pre-arranged time using an instant messenger application. I suggest we use Zoom which you would need to install on your PC prior to sessions commencing. (Skype is less secure for text based online counselling due to the way Microsoft stores data un-encrypted for a short period). Instant feedback obtained from online messaging counselling can be comforting for those who wish to interact and respond immediately. At our agreed time we will both log on so that we exchange instant messages for the length of the session. You can download Zoom by clicking here.

    Video Counselling
    For video counselling, again I suggest we Zoom. In order to access this form of online counselling, your computer must have a webcam and microphone so we will both be able to see and hear each other. Together we will plan a suitable time for us to meet. Before your first session you may want to ensure you are alone and won't be disturbed. It is also a good idea to make yourself comfortable and check you have good internet connection before you start. As with instant messaging counselling, we will meet at a pre agreed time.

    Email Counselling
    We will agree in advance a day and time by which I will respond to your email(s), typically the same every week. I will spend the length of a counselling session, 50 minutes, reading and responding to you. I suggest you spend a similar amount of time composing your email as this helps to foster a commitment to the counselling process. As counselling deals with sensitive information I suggest we use the secure email platform Protonmail which can be downloaded for free by clicking here.


    Assessment and Agreement

    Prior to online counselling commencing, you would be asked to read and complete the Online Assessment Form, Online Counselling Agreement and Online Data Privacy Policy which ensures that we work together safely and ethically.

    These forms include further information regards my online counselling service as well as details regards the logistics of working together. There is also a section for you to provide details about yourself, your current situation and what type of online counselling you are interested in.


    Guidance for clients seeking online counselling

    It is difficult to completely hide your internet activity but here are some helpful tips which can assist in maintaining the privacy of your email counselling:

    Setting up a Private e-mail Address
    If you want to send and receive personal e-mail it is possible to set up your own e-mail address which only you will have access to as long as you keep your username and password private. You can set up a web-based e-mail address so you can access e-mail from any computer with an internet connection by logging on at the main site of the provider you have chosen. Protonmail offers free encrypted email services which offer security for your mail exchanges, either on a personal level or when engaging with a counsellor.

    How do I choose where to use the internet?
    If you are seeking privacy the safest way will be somewhere you are unlikely to be disturbed, or that others could view the screen or hear whilst you are writing an email or in a webcam session with your counsellor.

    Your website history / cache file
    Your computer automatically keeps a history of the web pages you visit and may save graphics, cookies and other files to your computer. This means others can find out which websites you have visited by looking through your computer's history or cache file. You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser's settings.

    Internet Explorer
    Click on the Tools menu (in the row at the top of the browser).
    Select Internet Options from the drop down menu.
    Select the tab labelled 'General'.
    Under the title, 'Temporary Internet Files', click on 'Delete Files'.
    You can also check the box that says delete all offline content.
    Then, under 'History' click on 'Clear History.'
    Then click OK, at the bottom.


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