I have been doing online counselling since September 2006. That’s six years and six months [but who’s counting?]. Amongst other questions, I often get asked, “what do you enjoy about doing counselling this way?”
Well, there’s a lot I enjoy about it. Where do I start?
Flexibility- I love that my schedule can be flexible. Online counselling isn’t the only thing I do for a living so it’s nice to be able to schedule my online sessions around my other contracts. I don’t always have to be at my desk either. Nor do I have to dress up.
Disinhibition Effect – Clients tend to tell me way more about themselves more quickly in an online environment than they do in-person. There are moments when I want to say, “Whoa…how did we get here so fast?”. I have found this can be used to the client’s advantage. Deeper work can happen more quickly.
Writing – I enjoy writing and I believe that my writing in general has improved as a result of doing this work. Every time I write a session I learn more about how to use writing to effectively communicate ideas, empathy, non-judgement and describe abstract mental health concepts. I also learn from my clients about the power of words to heal.
Best part of all? Meeting and working with such fabulous clients from various professions and backgrounds all across the country. Given where I live I would not have had the opportunity to work with such an amazingly diverse clientele in-person. I have learned about life in large urban centres, small towns, and remote locations. I have learned about the pressures and stresses in large corporations and small companies. I can’t name the types of organizations but the diversity there has been fascinating. I have “listened” to people tell their stories – each one unique and inspiring.
My clients have taught me a lot [thinking all counsellors have this experience] and it’s been a privilege to walk with them for a while on their journeys [virtually speaking].
Dawn Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate counsellor with Worldwide Therapy Online, Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA