Five Reasons for Seeking Telephone Counselling
In my experience as a counsellor, I have seen many things change in the way we practice over the years. Moving from costly long-term approaches, we now incorporate brief solution-focused therapies and strength-based models. Instead of the role of “expert”, now the counsellor more often is there to come alongside the client as the expert in their own lives. Another change is to offer psychological services to clients by telephone rather than only in the office. While telephone counselling has been around many years, in the past it mostly focused on crisis intervention. Today, it is an acceptable practice for psychological interventions, as well.
Telephone counselling can help to overcome many of the barriers that prevent you from reaching out for help. There are several reasons that telephone counselling may be a good choice for you:
- Accessibility – If you live in a remote location, work out of town, go away on business frequently, or lack transportation or childcare, it can be difficult to get to appointments. Telephone counselling is accessible wherever you have a private, distraction-free space to talk. Counselling via phone can provide consistency and allow you access to help in a timely manner, easily and affordably.
- Anonymity – For many, telephone counselling is the best choice to get the help and remain anonymous. You may feel free to talk honestly about things that you find difficult to discuss face to face and many report a greater sense of control as a result.
- Convenience – With no need to venture away, you can have counselling in the comfort and safety of your own home.
- Positive results – Research shows that telephone counselling is an effective psychological practice. The results between in-person and telephone counselling are comparable. One added benefit is that studies suggest that people are more likely to stick with telephone counselling than counselling in the office.
- Time management – When time is at a premium, the extra time for travelling to and from appointments can make it difficult to set aside time to commit to counselling. With telephone counselling you can spend your time working on resolving the problems and move forward in your life without the added stress of getting to and from the appointment.
While telephone counselling can be very beneficial, I have found there are a few things to keep in mind to make it as effective as possible:
- Set aside the time of the session. You deserve to spend this time on yourself to find your solutions and practice new tools.
- Secure a safe and distraction-free space so you can give your full attention to the counselling. It is not time for multi-tasking. Children, texts, driving, take your attention off of you and you cannot effectively focus on yourself when distracted by situations around you.
Telephone counselling is a viable alternative to meeting in person and reduces many barriers to get the support necessary to make changes. It can be a very positive way to invest in yourself and in my experience as a counsellor, I’ve seen many people benefit from this approach to treatment.
Carol Wilson is a Certified Counsellor and specializes in the areas of addiction, depression, self esteem and couples work as well as many others. For more information on Carol, her work, or other articles she’s written for Living Well click here to link to her full bio page.