Online Psychologist Australia ~ Virtual Therapy via Skype
Rachael Walden and Elaine Lopis offer online therapy sessions via Skype, Zoom or our clinical platform. These platforms are online video chat services that allow you to attend a virtual therapy session in the comfort of your home, office or hotel room.
Rachael Walden and Elaine Lopis are online Psychologists for Australians and those overseas, provided your technology is adequate.
If you’re not yet familiar with Skype, it’s a free piece of software that you can quickly download and install on your computer. It’s fast to set up and relatively straightforward to use, as long as you have a webcam and either an internal microphone (most computers have one built in) or an external microphone (one that you plug in). It can even work on your phone.
Zoom is similar. Your therapist has a preferred method of online counselling and will advise you prior to your appointment on the service you will use.
Is Skype counselling as effective as counselling in person?
Research indicates that the outcome for clients who have received therapy from an online Psychologist is similar to those having standard therapy in person.
In 2012, Psychologist Dr Autumn Backhaus and her associates conducted a literature review of studies on videoconferencing psychotherapy (VCP), examining 65 articles. The researchers concluded that this form of counselling is “generally associated with good user satisfaction and is found to have similar clinical outcomes to traditional face-to-face psychotherapy”.
Advantages of Skype counselling
- When you have a virtual Therapist, you are not limited by geography. I can offer you counselling wherever you are.
- If I become your in-person Therapist but you have to move away, we can continue our relationship without you having to travel long distances. It can be hard to establish a relationship with a new Psychologist and often the process of starting again is stressful.
- I can offer online Psychology sessions with you if you have mobility restrictions, live in a remote area, are caring for children or elderly family, if you are unwell or unable to travel for other reasons. But even if you’re not restricted, I can offer virtual counselling if it’s simply your preference.
- Online Skype therapy may also be ideal for you if you work offshore (like on an oil rig or in marine services) or overseas. Living in a foreign country can make it hard to find a Therapist who understands your culture and language, so accessing an online Psychologist in Australia via Skype is a valuable solution in this situation.
- Virtual counselling may allow you to feel more relaxed, safe and in control of the process. Some people find it less intimidating or embarrassing than being in the same room with their Therapist.
Skype counselling: factors to consider
- I offer online counselling to both individuals and couples provided you can be in a quiet environment with no disruption from kids, family, other people or loud noise.
- You will need to have Skype set up, tested and running prior to our session. If you need assistance with this you will need to ask a friend or family member to help you.
- You must ensure that you can be online at the appointed time, in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted or overheard.
- Virtual counselling is not suitable for you if you are at risk of suicide, in acute crisis, or you have serious mental health issues – there are limits to what I can do as an online Psychologist. If you’re in this position, your GP is always your first port of call.
- For our Skype counselling sessions to work smoothly, you need a high-speed broadband connection, plus a webcam and microphone on your computer. You can purchase these fairly inexpensively if your machine doesn’t have them. We’ll check your connection in our initial virtual counselling session. If it’s not adequate, we may conduct your session by telephone until you can access a reliable internet connection or obtain the necessary equipment.
- Bear in mind there is always going to be a risk of the technology failing, which would be especially alarming if it occurred at a critical point in the session. In our first virtual meeting we will create a plan for what to do in the event of a technical glitch.
- While some people find it less stressful to speak with an online Psychologist, others might find it disconcerting. There is no handshake or physical gestures of comfort and I can’t hand you my tissues at emotional moments. For some, online therapy can feel distant and cold. You will be able to gauge how you feel about virtual counselling throughout your first couple of sessions.
If you think Skype counselling is right for you, please contact The Bondi Psychologist to arrange a virtual therapy session.