Participating in counselling can be challenging and rewarding. The “traditional” method of offering counselling has been face to face sessions with a registered therapist. COVID19 has certainly been a life altering experience for the world. On-line (virtual) counselling has been an option for many years. The pandemic has brought this resource into more prominence recently.
Deciding on whether virtual counselling is a fit for you and your family is an individual choice. There are risks and benefits which likely vary from person to person. We have captured a few pros and cons below which we hope will help you to consider for yourself. We encourage to ask any questions you may have by calling our office.
Currently Sharon Walker is a social work consultant working two days a week on site at a local long-term care facility. Due to pandemic regulations she cannot offer face to face sessions to other clients at this time. Her clinical passion is to provide family therapy supports; therefore, sessions are being offered using an on-line platform. (All of Brant Mental Health Solutions other therapists are offering both in person and online counselling.)
What to expect?
As a registered social worker (MSW RSW) it is Sharon’s goal to provide the most beneficial experience to you and your family.
“It is my hope that the sessions are helpful, as such, I plan the sessions to maximize our time together. For young children I use playful techniques and conversations to enhance engagement. It is important to be mindful of the unique attention spans of younger children. Since the sessions are 50 minutes in duration, together, we set a plan for the sessions. Often this means a maximum of 30 minutes – face to face – with the child. This would be increased/decreased based on the guardian’s feedback and child’s needs and strengths.
I would like to mention a comment made recently by the Dad of a 6-year-old child I am working with. Dad said he was “really happy” that his child has had the opportunity to participate in therapy using Zoom. He shared that he felt one additional benefit has been his child being better able to manage using technology to interact. He shared he felt that using technology like this is “a sign of the times” and that the sessions have helped his child to become more comfortable sharing feelings and using this technology.” Sharon Walker MSW RSW
Sample Session Agenda
A 50-minute session agenda would often include:
- First 15 minutes – “check in” with Mom/Dad
- 20 minutes with child
- Final 15 minutes- debrief with Mom/Dad
What to consider…
Based on current research PROS may include:
- Flexibility in scheduling
- Saving time from commuting to and from appointments
- Confidentiality- eliminates fears of running into others in waiting area of therapy office
- Comfort- the potential that one may feel more comfortable in a familiar setting
- Technology- skill building using the platform
CONS may include:
- Technology challenges- difficulty with connections, using the software, poor voice/picture quality
- Confidentiality and security- important to have a private space free from other people and distractions
- Difficulties observing verbal and nonverbal cues
- Comfort- using a new, potentially unfamiliar medium
- Attention span using a “screen”