Email counselling can be of benefit to people who might find face to face counselling difficult to access for any number of reasons, perhaps due to location, inability to travel to see a counsellor or other constraints. Just having someone there at the end of an email who can respond to thoughts and feelings in a sensitive and non judgmental way can be really helpful, but counselling is also about exploring new perspectives and helping you to find a way forward with your problems and concerns.
I am a qualified counsellor (MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy) and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a member of ACTO (The Association for Counselling and Therapy online) so you can be assured I am a genuine, ethical practitioner.
Email counselling takes the form of a series of exchanges, rather like corresponding by letter. You are able to express your thoughts, feelings, problems and concerns, knowing that a skilled and non judgemental person will read this communication and respond with empathy, honesty, and respect and offer new perspectives and insight. Perhaps you are just looking for help with a current problem, or would like to explore a deeper understanding of yourself.
E-counselling shares some similarities with more traditional forms of face to face counselling, but it also has some differences, and some of the subtleties such as body language and facial expressions are not present. Partly for this reason, email counselling is not suitable for more serious mental health issues. Many people however find this of benefit because it may be easier to disclose difficult feelings or information from the comfort and safety of their preferred environment. I can also set creative exercises designed to explore aspects of yourself in new ways.
Counselling by email is convenient, and there is no need to squeeze all the therapy into a time-limited session so people can take their time to think over their situation, and the counsellor can respond at a time that may not be possible with face to face counselling, and can also think over their responses too.
For some people, email counselling may be a first step towards engaging in face to face counselling, or it may be that email counselling is all they need to progress to where they need to be with their problems and concerns. Sometimes, just having someone there to “listen” is a huge relief, but because a counsellor can work with your issues in a skilled and empathic way, the counselling process is usually very much more powerful than that.
The way my service works is that initial contact is free of charge while we discuss whether email counselling is appropriate for you, and we can work out how it may best work for you. Once we have agreed to work together, the usual way is that we agree to one “email counselling session” per week, in which you can write a main email containing your thoughts, feelings, problems and concerns, and I will spend around an hour considering your email and composing a response. I will not offer advice (although if appropriate I may offer information or refer you to other sources of support), but will seek to understand you, and offer a response appropriate to the material you have shared, perhaps offering a new perspective or helping you to see a situation or issue with different eyes.
I do not offer standardised or “form” replies, each response is tailored uniquely to you and your situation, and I will spend at least an hour and sometimes more reading through your email, reflecting, and composing an appropriate response.
The charge for this service is £35 per email exchange, which includes one main email with a briefer follow up if necessary. Payment can be through direct transfer to my business account (preferred), or credit/debit card through PayPal. I am able to offer discounts for block booking, please enquire for details.
As ordinary email is not a secure system, you will need to register a free account at a secure, encrypted email system at hushmail.com. This is in line with the BACP guidelines for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy.
If you have any questions or would like to explore taking up email counselling, feel free to contact me on my main contact page, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the form below.
Please note my service is not currently available to people under the age of 18.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are feeling suicidal right now, my email counselling will not be suitable, please visit The Samaritans (UK) or Befrienders International for help and information. If in my professional judgement email counselling is not appropriate for you, I reserve the right to refer you to more suitable sources of support.