In the past, if someone in a remote or rural area, who needed professional counseling services, yet did not have a clinic like ours in their community, they had to commute several hours or more to get the help they needed. This could be frustrating for some people because of the lack of support in their local area, not to mention the associated travel costs.
As technology has advanced over the past several decades, this has opened up different forms of counselling solutions for people living in remote and rural areas. Among the latest advances is a new form of therapy called Distance Counselling.
What Is Distance Counselling?
Distance counselling utilizes computer technologies and an appropriate software application, like Skype. Rather than having to travel for hours to get help, for face-to-face sessions, your counsellor schedules a time where you connect over the Internet and speak face-to-face through the Internet communications application.
What Are the Minimum Equipment Requirements for Distance Counselling?
For the most part, you may already have everything you require for distance counselling. Ideally, you will need the following:
- A computer with a built-in or attached web cam.
- The required communications software, which you will need to download, install, and configure on your computer.
- A computer with speakers and a microphone for listening and speaking to your counsellor.
- In lieu of speakers and a microphone, a telephone can be used for verbal communications, to supplement the video chat session.
Another option is to use your smartphone or tablet device, so long as it has a strong enough wireless data connection through your mobile/cellular provider and/or the ability to connect to your high speed Internet connection at home.
What Types of Counselling Services Are Offered for Distance Counselling?
Most of the services offered here at Bayridge Counselling Centre are available for distance counselling. There are a few exceptions to this, like if you want to experience our Virtual Reality counselling/therapy, or in cases where you are experiencing feelings of self-harm or suicide, or aggressive thoughts of causing harm towards others.
In these cases, we highly recommend seeking help locally through your primary care physician or local hospital’s emergency room, as our distance counselling would not be appropriate. However, we would be able to provide help if you are able to travel to one of our locations for actual face-to-face, in-person counselling sessions.
Is Distance Counselling Right for Me?
To help determine whether distance counselling would be a viable form of therapy, it is best to contact us directly and speak to one of our intake coordinators. Your intake coordinator will assist you in matching you to the right counsellor that best reflects your needs and evaluate whether distance counselling could be beneficial.
Initially, before beginning distance counselling, it can also be helpful to schedule an initial consultation appointment at one of our locations and come in to meet your counsellor. To learn more about distance counselling or our other services, please feel free to call Bayridge Counselling Centre at 905-319-1488 today.