Home Health & Wellbeing
At The Mix, we want to make our services as helpful as we can. To do this, we’d love to ask you a few questions about you, your visit to The Mix and its impact. It should take only about 5-10 minutes to complete. Take this survey and get a chance at winning a £200 Amazon voucher​.
Come and join our Support Circle, every Tuesday, 8 - 9:30pm! Sign up here
Read the community guidelines before posting ✨

Online Counselling or Face-to-Face?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Does anyone have experience of both/either? If so, would you recommend online counselling? Which do you think is the most beneficial?

I have concerns that online counselling doesn't allow someone to read your body language and as I am sure most internet users are aware, some of the things you say online can be interpreted differently to what you actually mean - again, its something that someone face-to-face would pick up on based on the way you say it...if that makes sense?

The benefits to online counselling I guess would be the convenience. Now I have a new job - its Monday to Friday and I don't think it would be a good idea for me to walk into a new job and request an hour off each week...especially as they are completely unaware of what has happened in the past few months. I know it will come out eventually but to begin with, it will be nice not to be known as "the girl whose dad committed suicide".

I could just about afford private counselling now but do people offer evening/weekend appointments? All the ones I can find only seem to be normal Monday - Friday office hours!?!

I have reservations about going back into it in general if I'm being honest. I went to the gym last night and that helped with my mood somewhat so maybe I should just be making the most of my gym membership a little more rather than spending out money for counselling?!?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i guess face to face is the best option. i used to go to counselling i think it's better than online.and maybe you can find someone that you can go in the evening it's difficult to find someone that work in weekends i guess. i now stoped going to counselling because i couldn't afford it. but try to find someone.
    and you keep going to the gym if it helps you.
    good luck about the counselling.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know that in Leeds & York there are clinics that offer evening appointments. I don't know your area so can't have a look for you, but keep looking.

    Have you explored how the online counselling would occur? They may use something like Skype or Webconferencing, in which case you'd have a visual clue. Perhaps get in touch with someone and see?
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    I've done both. They're very different experiences I'd say. Here are my thoughts:

    Online:
    - Can say some things that perhaps you'd be scared to say face to face; it can be a little more anonymous that way
    - Easier to get distracted. E.g. someone talking to you in the background and not being able to get rid of them easily. I found I was more able to get into "the zone" with face to face because I had to set the time aside and get there, then had time after to reflect whereas with online counselling it can be a case of the session finishes and you just do something else.
    - It was harder to connect with the counsellor because you've never met them and you can't gague them.
    - My counsellor would always bring everything back down to one thing and it was incredibly frustrating because, whilst they may have the same root, I wasn't always ready to think about it in such a big context and so I got incredibly frustrated from hearing that week after week.

    I can see why it is a good idea though. If, like you, you're working or live somewhere inaccessible it's a great idea! Sadly I found it didn't really work with me.

    Face to face:

    - As I already said, having to go there in person and "getting into the zone"
    - The rapport with the counsellor can be better established
    - They know you better, I think - for example at the start of the session my counsellor would pick up on something I was wearing or how I was behaving and ask me about it, which got me talking - whereas that could never happen online. (I know that sounds weird, I should say it wasn't meant badly - e.g. I always wore a certain pair of shoes so one time she noticed and asked me if they were special or something and I was able to say what they meant to me, how I'd saved up for them etc and it got me talking at least. Might not be everyone's cup of tea but we really got on!).
    - It's nice to hear someone's voice. It's more instant because you don't have to wait for someone to type or for your connection to break or there be a technical error or something (which happened with online counselling sometimes!).
    -

    It's difficult to know whether you should go back into counselling. I found for me at least it created a dependence because I would always think about things to say that I wanted to talk about BUT that didn't necessarily mean that it was a good thing. When my sessions finished (I had 24 sessions, max allotted) I struggled with the change and felt my head was full and I had no outlet for it. So that is something to be aware of.

    However, I got a lot out of it. It wasn't necessarily enough to change my behaviours (that's more what you do in CBT) but it helped a heck of a lot with my self-awareness, realising what I was doing and my ability to step back from situations and see what I was doing etc. It was by no means the end of therapeutic interventions but at a time when I was feeling very low indeed it was what I needed to be able to keep going. I suppose though that's more relevant for someone with depression rather than bereavement though! At the time I needed the space to get things in my head out, to talk about them and perhaps start addressing the causes of the problem.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think face to face counselling would be more benefical...I feel like I'm in the same situation, in terms of adjusting to not having an outlet. I am really self aware and would sit in sessions and say "I've done this because of this and it makes me feel better because of this", etc...that way we worked on things like my need for control. I like the thought of being completely anonymous; however, I was so open and honest with my last counsellor that I don't feel there is anything I wouldn't say.

    I feel like I'm throwing more change at myself and then struggling to cope with it all. But I don't want to go back to counselling because it makes me feel like a failure :(
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    The thought of going to counselling made me feel like a failure before I went, but then things kept slipping and I had no choice but to go to counselling.

    How long were you in counselling for? When did you stop? If it's recently you stopped, it could still be the adjustment phase? Perhaps you could continue to go to the gym and see if that helps you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I started in May and finished in Aug but only had 8 sessions in that time because that was the max. I thought it was just a phase but I recognise my thought patterns and behaviour and know I need to go back. Because I had never been to counselling before, it took me several sessions to build that trust with her so a lot of things I should have covered were never mentioned.

    I'm still using the gym...I feel better while I'm there but the effect doesn't last. I know I'm a hypocrite for saying this but I don't believe I deserve counselling. I feel like I should just get on with it.
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    In this case it might be useful to go back. Would you be able to have more than 8 sessions?

    I think it's a common feeling to feel like you don't deserve counselling, but if you can possibly get past that, it could well do you a lot of good :) Obviously I can't tell you that you should go back, but it sounds like you might benefit from another course of counselling.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was through uni so your only entitled to 8 sessions...If I was to go back to counselling, I would have to go privately and pay as all the charity/NHS ones are normal office hours Mon-Fri and that's when I work.
    I know I need to go back...I just don't know who would be best to go to. I also think it's stupid that the uni allow part time students to access the service but don't offer evening appts!
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    That does sound very silly indeed. Could you maybe suggest that to anyone? Might be able to put it up for consultation and thus get sth changed?

    I don't know how old you are, but I know some of the places from which I've received counselling only had appointments in the evening - these were mainly young peoples' services so up to the age of 25 really.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I might write to the Head of Services and suggest evening appts as I'm sure I'm not the only local part-time student that it would benefit...even if it meant waiting longer or even if it meant paying, I would be prepared to do so!

    I'm 23 so sounds useful...were these just local services or are they national?
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    They were local ones. Perhaps try typing in 'youth conselling in x' into google and see what comes up?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ahh ok...thanks :) I will google it this evening :)
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Hi WhiteLillies, I'm not sure if you've heard of Youth Access, but the website is a great resource for finding services in your local area and is the best place to start in your search. Good luck :-)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No I wasn't aware of them - thank you :) *hug*
Sign In or Register to comment.