Telephone vs Video Counselling - Which to Choose?

Posted 12th of November 2020 by Gill Wier

Are you thinking about booking an appointment with us?  We are currently offering sessions remotely either by telephone or video call.  Research shows that these forms of counselling are just as effective as face to face counselling and they enable you to speak to the counsellor from the comfort of your own home.  But which should you choose – telephone or video counselling? I hope this article will help you to decide.

Telephone counselling

Benefits

  • It uses a common form of technology that nearly everyone has –  a landline or mobile phone
  • You may feel less self-conscious as the counsellor can’t see you and this can help you to share your thoughts and feelings more easily
  • You can speak from anywhere that feels confidential including your car or the local park if you are concerned about those you live with overhearing the conversation.
  • You don’t have to sit still during the session if it helps to move around while talking
  • It can feel quite private and intimate

Challenges

  • You can’t see each others’ body language so the counsellor may miss some of what you are communicating.  To compensate for this the counsellor will ask more questions and tune in to different aspects of communication such as your tone of voice and the sound of your breathing.
  • You may find it hard not being able to see the counsellor as you don’t gain a full picture of who they are or the reassurance of seeing their body language.

Video Counselling

Benefits

  • Being able to see each other means that it feels similar to meeting face to face and you can read some of each others’ facial expression and body language.
  • You may find this helps to build a relationship with the counsellor more quickly.
  • In time it is possible to forget about the technology and feel as though you are really with the counsellor and get a sense of their presence with you.

Challenges

  • You need to be fairly confident using technology and have a good internet connection to make it work well. 
  • There may be times when the internet connection is lost and this interrupts the conversation and can be unsettling.  Your counsellor will discuss with you how to manage this if it does happen.
  • Some people feel self-conscious about their face being seen on a screen.

Here are a few questions to consider – which mode of communication do you enjoy more?  Are you someone who likes talking on the phone?  Is it important to you to be able to see what the counsellor looks like? Do you feel comfortable and confident using a laptop or other device for video calls? Do you have a secure and strong internet connection? Which mode of communication do you use most in your daily work? Would you prefer to use the same mode because it’s familiar or a different mode to make it feel like a different kind of space?

Hopefully you are now a bit closer to deciding which mode of counselling is the best fit for you. If you have any further questions regarding telephone or video counselling, please contact us via info@sheffieldcentralcounselling.co.uk.  You can book an appointment directly via the the website, just click on Book An Appointment.

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