- 1 Skype / Zoom Online Video Counselling. Private, Experienced Local Therapist.
- 1.1 Using Video at Havant Counselling.
- 1.2 13 years Online Therapy Experience.
- 1.3 Commencing a Video Counselling Session.
- 1.4 Preparing Video Counselling.
- 1.5 Experienced Online / Internet Counsellor.
- 1.6 Online Privacy with Counselling.
- 1.7 About Dean @ Havant Counselling.
- 1.8 Future Face-to-Face Counselling.
- 1.9 Begin Online Video Counselling…
- 1.10 Got a Question? Don't Hold Back…
Skype / Zoom Online Video Counselling. Private, Experienced Local Therapist.
When Self-Isolating or Shielding, seeking "professional video counsellors near me" brings you Dean Richardson MNCS(Acc/Reg) - with over 21 years experience and who's a skilled telehealth Video Therapist.
Using Video at Havant Counselling.
What if good counselling could be achieved online from within the privacy of your own home?
Video counselling / psychotherapy is ideal for individuals (using a video capable device) and couples (using two video devices) who wish to access Dean Richardson MNCS(Acc/reg)’s experienced therapy services online (now into his 22nd year of practice) but who are unable to – or don’t wish to – travel to Havant Counselling due to situations such as the Covid-19 Lockdown.
Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp etc.
The video counselling session is the same, in format, as if meeting face-to-face: it remains conversation based (with a little use of whiteboard when useful); you and Dean discuss and work through the problems at hand via weekly sessions.
Because you’ll be in your home (or office) you’ll be taking some of the responsibility usually handled by the counsellor. You’ll ensure your privacy, not disturbed during session, and taking care of your physical-location needs (such as tissues, water etc).
Bonus: whilst businesses and organisations are slowly being allowed to open “with guidance”, using Skype/Zoom Video for your counselling sessions means there are no transparent screens, no hand-washing, no keeping a 2-metres distance and no speaking to your counsellor whilst wearing a mask or visor to attend your therapy with Havant Counselling 👍🏻.
13 years Online Therapy Experience.
Commencing formal diploma training in counselling from 1999, Dean has been working as an online/video counsellor with Skype and Zoom since 2007 (see side image of his original iCounsellor.co.uk domain’s registration – still functional, albeit the website is currently undergoing a major refurbishment behind the scenes), and: as an IBM & private corporate IT Professional decades before that.
His combined experience in IT and Psychotherapy is rarely seen in other counsellors.
So, whilst some other counsellors may be hurrying to transition their practice online during these pandemic times, you may feel assured that Dean Richardson already has the appropriate experience needed to manage your online video therapy.
(Click image for greater detail).
Commencing a Video Counselling Session.
- Send your session fee beforehand (such as making a bank transfer or using my Online Card Payment Service).
- (During our first session we’ll allow some time to get our devices working suitably).
- How each session commences depends upon the actual app/service being used but Dean will join each counselling session at the session’s start time.
- Ensure Skype is loaded and you are logged in.
- Individuals: at the session time, Dean will call your device.
- Couples/Groups: A Skype Group will have been prior to the sessions commencing. Prior to the session session time you will join the group. At the session start time Dean will sign into the group.
- A Zoom meeting room will have been created prior to the sessions commencing. You will have been emailed the room’s URL and password.
- You may join the meeting before Dean connects. You’ll find yourself in a “waiting room”. This is a Zoom security feature so that no-one else can join our session.
- At the session start time, Dean will move everyone from the waiting room into the meeting.
Preparing Video Counselling.
When considering Counselling via Skype or Zoom video the you’re strongly advised to be make the following preparations:
Preparations for Individuals, Couples & Groups.
- Remember that counselling sessions are (still) a professional engagement. Even though you’re at home with easy access to your fridge, comfy pyjamas and footstool, aim to behave as if you would be meeting your counsellor in his office.
- Have your video device prepared well in advance with the software installed that you and Dean have agreed upon first contact (Skype is preferred, but Dean can also use Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook and others – provided there’s a prior conversation about your choice of app. Ensure that your Operating System has all updates installed the day before (some upgrades can take a long time).
- Use a headset/microphone combination (such as those supplied with your Smartphone, or computer). Not only helpful for your privacy, Skype and Zoom work significantly better by avoiding echo, disturbing feedback or blocking the audio for several seconds whilst the software filters out your own audio being sent back from your caller’s device.
- Use a table or stand if using a tablet or Smartphone (rather than holding the device for 50/90 minutes). Keeping the device held not only relieves your hands and keeps the camera steady, it also helps prevent feelings of sea-sickness in the observer when you’re moving your camera.
- Try to place your camera at eye level so that you’re looking at your device on the horizontal. This ensures that you’re not looking down or up at your counsellor (which can feel a little disturbing).
- Ensure that your face is lit. This may mean you sitting facing a light-source (the window, a lamp etc). Otherwise you’ll appear in shadow and your counsellor will not be able to see your face.
- You will need a room that’s private and away from others’ earshot. If this is not possible, perhaps others in your house might leave for an hour).
- Ensure that your environment is quiet – Skype & Zoom (etc) use technology that can “take over” the audio channel when you speak (or when there is sound in your room). If your room is noisy you may find that the counsellor’s voice becomes cut-off or interrupted.
- Make sure you won’t be disturbed: tell others in your house not to come into your room. Maybe put a note on your room’s door – or your house’s front door – saying “Do Not Disturb” so that others are reminded before they enter your room and/or your doorbell isn’t rung. It’s quite disturbing when you’re halfway discussing something private or sensitive only to have someone burst into your room (be it a child needing your attention or another adult).
- Be aware of your environment: think about things such as lighting where the window is, how far away you are from the microphone and camera, is there other things on your device’s screen that might distract you, are your messaging apps closed, are all bandwidth sucking apps closed (eg Dropbox, Google Drive etc – or someone in your location streaming video).
Important: Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Macbook) running Apple-exclusive software (Facetime etc) cannot be used with this service.
Preparations for CoupleS.
- Prepare to use two video devices rather than one. When working apart from each other this is logical, and may seem strange when working in the same location. When working locally it may be advantageous to sit in separate rooms so as not to confuse how you communicate with your partner and Dean (ie being in a separate room means you speak with your partner & Dean via your video device, rather than looking up from, and down to, your video device when in the same room as your partner).
- It will be helpful to think of the couple counsellor as participating / assisting your relationship in being able to talk to each other. The counsellor takes an observer’s role offering feedback & considered interventions. This is different to a popular concept that both of you will be looking at a single screen waiting for the counsellor to offer a form of instruction or expert lecture upon your relationship.
- If one of you intentionally disconnects during the counselling session, the session will be brought to a close with the remaining partner. Think of it like this: Couple Counselling is therapy for the relationship, and when one partner disconnects from the session the “relationship” has effectively left the therapy session. Counselling will resume at the next scheduled session.
- If one of you unintentionally disconnects during the session, we will try to re-establish the connection as best we can, but we won’t continue the session in a partner’s absence.
- If one of you leaves couple counselling entirely: I will work with the remaining partner for a handful of sessions to bring our couple work to a close. We won’t switch to an individual contract in this situation. You are welcome to engage with an alternative individual counsellor for your personal needs.
Experienced Online / Internet Counsellor.
Dean has been practising face-to-face counselling for over 21 years. Additionally, he also has practical experience in remote telecommunications (a) from his many years as an IBM IT Engineer (prior to retraining in psychotherapy) and (b) by completing the in-depth, six module training course from Online Counselling (website domain now defunct) designed & delivered by Dr Kate Anthony FBACP way back in 2007.
After completing his online training, Dean set up his first telehealth counselling website: iCounsellor.co.uk (yup – the iPhone was released by Apple coincidentally around this time too 🤣). Dean specialised in Skype Video Counselling for Couples in Long Distance Relationships for many years (e.g. couple counselling with one partner calling in from Canada, one partner calling in from India, Dean calling in from the UK).
If you need further convincing of Dean’s skills with the Internet: this whole website was designed & built by Dean, is maintained by him, and is delivered from his own Linux LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP-FPM etc), which is built & maintained by himself.
Let’s go out on a limb, here, and offer that there’s possibly not many other counsellors with such a deeply combined experience in Information Technology, Internet and Psychotherapy with whom you might feel confident and safe working online in your own therapy.
Online Privacy with Counselling.
As a counsellor, Dean specialises in working in therapy in a number of sensitive subjects. Because of such pursuit topics (eg Counselling for Men, Unwanted Sexual Behaviour, Pre-Trial Counselling, Sexuality etc) it wouldn’t be surprising for some considering video counselling to be extra concerned about their privacy.
The following off-site articles tackle the subjects of privacy (through encryption) and safety when using Skype or Zoom for personal counselling.
About Dean @ Havant Counselling.
You could choose any counsellor in and around Havant, 'natch!
Yet, when you think that this may be the most personal, private and vulnerable you're going to be with someone professional, you'd probably choose:
- someone you can grow to trust,
- someone who demonstrates highly competent skills, ethics and sensitivity.
- someone who speaks plain English (rather than psychobabble),
- someone who's as happy to use base/swearing language as much (or as little) as you do,
- someone who considers himself a frank, no bullshit counsellor, particularly you when you're in need of an authentic response (rather than an "hmm"),
- someone who would become an equal part of your therapeutic partnership (e.g. doesn't just sit mostly in silence for 50 minutes).
Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred / Reg) - a simply private choice.
Future Face-to-Face Counselling.
You may be wondering what may happen to online services at Havant Counselling as the UK lock-down around the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
One answer is that Skype and Zoom counselling are not the poor relation to face-to-face counselling. For most who choose video counselling the medium is as effective as face-to-face sessions. Therefore, Havant Counselling will continue to offer online telehealth therapy even as the virus subsides in England.
When it becomes safer to re-introduce face-to-face counselling in Havant, you and Dean may have a conversation together about continuing with the video relationship, or to make some plans about meeting face-to-face.. if you wish to.
Of course, if you don’t live near Havant then the discussion becomes moot – we will continue to work online for as long (or short) as you need.
Whatever happens, no changes will be made to your therapy medium nor appointment day / time until matters have been discussed and a decision has been planned together.
Begin Online Video Counselling…
Got a Question? Don't Hold Back…
Got a question about Dean Richardson's counselling services in Havant (Hampshire)? Want to make contact, maybe asking about a first appointment? Send Dean a message any time…