Creating an Effective On-Line Counselling Space

To make our on-line work effective I need your help to create boundaries, to create comfort, and to create contact.

Also, as with face-to-face work, it’s also a good idea if you begin the session with an idea about what you need today.

You can download a copy of these checklists here. Or, watch this short video where I describe how to make an effective online counselling space in your own home.

Creating boundaries means making a private space where you’re not overheard. Also,

  • Make sure you’re not interrupted by family, making childcare arrangements if you need.
  • Keep away deliveries, postmen and other visitors.
  • Make sure pets don’t need your attention.
  • Switch off the TV, radio and other devices.
  • Close computer applications that might deliver mail or messages during our session.
  • Position a clock – so that you’re aware of time boundaries

Creating comfort means making a space where your body is accounted.

  • Make sure the room temperature is OK for sitting.
  • Perhaps you might need water or some tissues?
  • Find a comfortable chair which allows you to breathe fully, sit without tensions and move your posture openly.

Creating contact means making an on-line space where we can ‘meet’ easily.

  • Please set up your computer before we begin – testing webcam, mic & speakers. Use mains power.
  • Also, place your device on a stable surface rather than holding it.
  • It’s best if you’re lit from the front rather than from behind.
  • And useful if you’re visible to me from the waist up, since so much is conveyed by posture.
  • For a more reliable network connection it might be useful to close other computer applications that use lots of bandwidth or CPU.

Contract – for our session
Just as we have an overall direction in our work it is useful to have a direction for each session. Good questions to ask yourself before we begin are;

  • How do I want to use this time?
  • What has been a ‘hot’ issue today/since our last session?
  • What have I been doing a lot of/not enough of?
  • How do I feel right now? Where in my body do I feel it?
  • By the end of this session I want to be clearer about…

A note on technology – what if our network fails?
If our on-line connection fails during the course of the session our plan should be to revert to email – these emails should be intended to bring the session to a close, to rearrange etc. rather than to continue the session fully.