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  • Writer's picturepippa

In person or online counselling... which is right for you?

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

A grey cat is stretched out on an edwardian painted desk, basking in the sun. The desk has piled of colourful psychology and psychotherapy books on it.
Arbitrary picture of a grey cat stretched out on a desk with psychology books

As I offer in person (or face-to-face) as well as online sessions, I thought that my thoughts on these two options might be a helpful starting point for my very first blog post!

With in person counselling sessions, you make an appointment to see me in person, at my therapy room in central Exeter, Devon. After your first session, which is a chance to meet each other and go through the therapeutic contract together, you can decide whether or not you want to go ahead and have regular sessions. This is usually on a weekly basis, at the same time each week.

In my view, these are the main plus points of both types of therapy:

Face-to-face counselling

  • The healing powers of physically stepping into a therapy room are compelling and can lead to the therapeutic relationship between the counsellor and client developing readily.

  • It's easier for the counsellor to spot sensory or somatic cues, such as non-verbal body language.

  • It could be beneficial to your wellbeing to get out of your home/work and have "human" contact, particularly if they have been feeling isolated or lonely.

Online counselling

  • What I love most is how accessible online therapy is. It takes away any barrier to accessibility, such as having to pay for petrol or public transport, covering childcare costs, the time it takes to reach the therapy room, worrying about what to wear etc etc.

  • You can go online anywhere in the world, as long as you have a private, safe space where you are not going to be overheard.

  • For many people, it's a preferable medium to in person therapy as the screen offers a level of distance between themselves and the counsellor which actually means they can speak more freely.

  • Clients are free to ask the counsellor for one or both of them can turn their camera off, which could be making them feel self-conscious. I always offer this option to clients who have low self image or negative body issues.

So which option is right for you?

As you've probably guessed, I don't think there is a clear answer: you may be immediately drawn to one or the other. I'd be happy for you to try both and see which works best for you and possibly use a mix of online and face-to-face sessions.

The beauty of counselling is that it's an ongoing conversation and you don't have to commit to anything unless it's working for YOU.

What's the next step?

I offer a free 15-20 minute consultation by phone or video call. You can ask me any questions you may have about my experience, what it's like to work with me or anything else you'd like to find out about to help you decide whether you'd like to book some counselling sessions.

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