Frequently Asked Questions
What online platform do I need to use?
I use Zoom for sessions (www.zoom.us), which is free to download. It’s recommended by ACTO, BACP and UCKP for online work as provides the security required. At least 15 minutes before the time of your session I will send you a link via email for you to click on to join me.
What if I can’t access my computer?
It is possible to use Zoom on a smartphone or tablet. If it’s really not possible to use this then we can talk about alternatives, of which there are a few.
Where and how should I sit?
I recommend you find a quiet, comfortable place away from possible distractions. Ensure your head and shoulders are in full view and that you’re well lit (and I’ll do the same) so we can clearly see each other. Switch off your phone to avoid distracting noises or messages. Put your screen on a table or still surface and avoid holding so that you can fully focus. Be aware that pet’s can be distracting – it’s good to be mindful if they’re going to want your attention!
For sessions when someone else might be at home, you might feel more comfortable listening to me on headphones and having some white noise playing in the room.
What if the doorbell goes?
It’s a good idea to think about all possible distractions in order to limit them. People at your door aren’t something you can control but you can control whether you answer the door or not. If my doorbell ever rings, I will not answer it.
Will confidentiality be maintained?
Confidentiality and privacy are important considerations when accessing therapy online. I make every effort to keep all information confidential and store personal details in a GDPR compliant records system. Likewise, I ask that you consider who has access to your computer and to ensure that you are satisfied that your sessions could not be accessed or interrupted, that your passwords are secure and up to date, and that your system has protection from malware and viruses, you are responsible for ensuring your system is secure.
You can read my privacy and confidentiality notice here.
What if there are technical failures?
Technical failures can happen. If you are unable to connect or are disconnected during a session due to technological breakdown I will try to reconnect. If we cannot reconnect within 10 minutes, I will email you to either schedule a new time or to finish up the session, dependent on at which stage the breakdown occurred. If we are unable to have a session due to technical failure of my system, I will email you and let you know and offer a rescheduled appointment where possible. Please allow time before the session to check the computer is set up for connecting.
The end of the session
At the end of a session I would recommend closing your computer or putting down your phone or tablet. Checking emails or using other applications is to deny ourselves the opportunity to reflect on feelings and what has been revealed or learnt. Taking a screen break, maybe even a walk is recommended.
How can I be sure that therapy is confidential and secure?
I only use software recommended by ACTO, ensuring it is GDPR compliant and that it provides end to end encryption. For video, audio and text messaging I use Zoom. For email I use ProtonMail. My hardware is fully encrtypted and password protected with two-factor authentication. I use a VPN to encrypt all of my internet traffic, so that it is unreadable to anyone who intercepts it. My network is protected by a firewall and my router is locked and secure.
I am a registered data controller with the ICO and store client data in a GDPR compliant system.
I work within the ethical guidelines of BACP and UKCP to ensure client confidentiality is at the heart of my practice.
Is online therapy for me?
Whether you are an expat looking for English speaking psychotherapy as you work abroad, would like to have therapy from the comfort of your own home, or find it hard to find the time to travel to a regular therapy appointment, online therapy could be the answer.
Having therapy online has a wide range of advantages over face-to-face therapy, you do not have to factor in travel time or costs getting to and from your session, you are able to have therapy from the comfort and privacy of your own home, and you are able to work with the right therapist, not just the closest.
What can I expect?
There are a variety of ways to access online or web based therapy. Each approach works slightly differently,
here is a general guide to what to expect when you make contact with me with a view to starting online web based therapy from start to finish.
Can I have a consultation session before I sign up?
Yes - I offer a free 30-minute video consultation which you can book
through this form.
The consultation is a chance for us to get to know each other and for you to see if I might be the right therapist for you. There is no commitment at this stage, but I will take down some basic information and write a few notes. If you decide not to go ahead then I'll destroy these notes and won't save your information.
Will the sessions feel the same as face to face?
I provide the same quiet, uninterrupted and reflective 50 minutes as in the therapy room. I will ensure absolute confidentiality by using a secure online video link with password protection and ensuring the session can’t be overheard. I’ll ensure consistency in my work space so you always see me in the same setting. I might be helpful to think in advance where in your space you would like to have therapy and finding what feels comfortable.
Misunderstandings are possible in therapy whether working face-to-face or online. When we work at distance it can be harder to pick up on non-verbal information, or to get used to working together. If at any time you have any feelings about this, please share these with me and we can work to make the therapeutic experience more effective.
I don't like talking about myself, is therapy right for me?
Whatever the approach, and the goal, in sessions I will be supporting and facilitating you to explore and understand your issues. Therapy is a different conversation to one you have with a friend or colleague, and as such it can feel a little odd to start with. Getting used to talking about yourself for 50-minutes can bring up issues in itself, sometimes people worry they are talking too much, or feel they should be asking how I am, don't worry, you'll get used to it. I find that often it is the people who worry the most about taking up space that need it the most, and who stand to benefit a lot from therapy.
How long does therapy last for?
There is no set length of time that anyone should have therapy for. For some issues a short-term intervention is sufficient. For others, they may prefer to explore without worrying about how much time they have to do it in. There is no right way to have therapy, and no right answer to how long it should last. I see clients for weeks, months, and years. In my experience, when a client has got what they need from therapy, for now, it will feel like the right time to end.