Research has repeatedly shown that a good fit between a client and therapist makes a significant difference to the outcome. But what do you do when the counsellor or psychotherapist you want to work with isn’t nearby? Online counselling and psychotherapy overcomes this restriction and allows you to meet with the therapist of your choosing no matter where you are located.
We offer online therapy using popular video conferencing apps such as:
- Google Meet
Who might use online therapy?
- If you live in an area where no suitable therapists are available
- Couples who are in different locations
- Your community is so small that your privacy is jeopardised
- You travel for work and struggle to attend regular appointments at your therapist’s office
- Transportation makes it difficult to get to therapy
- If you are an expat and would like a therapist who understands your language and culture
- Illness or disability makes travelling inconvenient or difficult
Is your online therapist legitimate?
Whether you are shopping online or doing your internet banking, you need to know that the business you are dealing with is legitimate. Online therapy is no different.
The online world does not provide the same physical evidence as meeting somebody in-person. However, in New Zealand it is easy to check your online counsellor or psychotherapist is a qualified professional by checking their registration status.
We are both registered psychotherapists with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ).
To view our PBANZ registration details :
We can also arrange a time for a 5 minute online chat to answer any questions before scheduling an appointment.
What are Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom?
All you need for online therapy is a video conferencing app, a reliable internet connection, a computer or smartphone and a private space where you won’t be disturbed.
Video conferencing allows you to talk with somebody in a different location and see their face live on your screen as you speak. Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom are free video conferencing applications.
Each product provides secure, high quality video calls which makes online therapy effective and easily accessible. We will connect to you using your preferred application.
Additional considerations for online therapy sessions
Online therapy is a convenient and effective way to engage in counselling and psychotherapy. However, there are a few extra considerations needed to avoid unnecessary stress or friction during your session. We have outlined some points below and it will improve your experience considerably if you plan and test these things in advance.
When we meet clients in-person at our office we provide a private, comfortable, safe place where they will not be disturbed. The same conditions are required for online sessions but you will need to create this space.
Things to consider are:
- Wifi – First and foremost, make sure the location you choose for your therapy session has good wifi coverage and test it beforehand. The speedtest.net website is a quick and easy way to test your connection speed.
- Privacy – Make sure you will not be disturbed or overheard during your session. It will be difficult to talk freely if you are worried that other people can hear you and it can be very disruptive if your dog decides it wants to play or your family members or flatmates suddenly need to talk to you.
- Comfort – Individual therapy sessions are 50 minutes long and couples sessions are an hour. Make sure you have somewhere comfortable to sit and maybe have a glass of water on hand. For couples sessions you will both need to see the screen and you will also need to be able to turn and talk easily to each other.
- Use a large screen and headphones (if possible) – Peering down into a phone that is precariously propped up on the table can add an unnecessary level of friction to the conversation so the larger your screen the better. Additionally, if you have some headphones this will make hearing your therapist’s voice much easier and clearer and also make it easier for your therapist to hear you. Headphones also help with privacy.
- A suitable surface for your device – Your tablet or phone will feel surprisingly heavy if you have to hold it out in front of you for an hour. Additionally, if you are repeatedly moving your screen around it is very distracting for the person on the other end of the call. Find a suitable surface to hold your device before the session.
- Make sure your software is up-to-date – It can cause unnecessary delays if you login to Skype only to discover an update needs to download. Check your device an hour or so before your session so you have plenty of time to update any apps if needed.
- Set your device to Do Not Disturb for an hour so you don’t get emails or texts interrupting you.
- Test everything beforehand – Occasionally technical problems will arise but most can be avoided with a bit of preparation. The last thing you need is a flat battery or a poor wifi signal so make sure you allow some time for an early test run.
Some simple planning will vastly improve your online therapy experience. If you take these points into consideration you will quickly forget that the session is by video leaving you free to discuss the things that matter.
Get started today
To arrange an online therapy session get in touch using the form below. We will email you back and arrange a convenient appointment time.
At the time of your scheduled appointment we will initiate the video call using the application that you prefer. Everything else is the same as an in-person meeting would be in our office. The fees are the same as in-person sessions and payment is made afterwards via online banking.