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Online Counselling »

Although some prefer face to face counselling sessions, Pregnancy Crisis Care (Plymouth & SE Cornwall) is also able to provide Online Counselling via either telephone or Zoom video conferencing sessions.

What is Online Counselling? »

Online counselling provides an opportunity to explore a personal difficulty in a confidential and supportive environment. This may include expressing feelings that are painful, and which many of us experience at certain times in our lives. When this happens, it can be difficult to stay positive and cope with everyday life. Online counselling gives you the opportunity to access counselling support at a time and in a place which is convenient to you.

What sort of issues can I contact you about? »

Our Online counselling may be able to help with issues relating to any pregnancy-related crisis (the shock and fear around facing an unexpected pregnancy, psychological distress some people face after a termination (for medical reasons or elective), or the complex grief and loss many face after the loss of a baby in pregnancy at any stage (miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic, failed IVF, infertility issues). We are also able to counsel and support women who are pregnant and facing anxiety and depression within their current pregnancy.

Not all types of issues can be resolved through online counselling, and on initial contact, we will advise you if face to face counselling or some other form of support might be more suitable for you. Where we consider that online counselling would not be the most suitable means of support, we will make every effort to assist you in a referral to a more suitable alternative source of support.

We are not able to provide online counselling to anyone under the age of 13. If this applies to you, we can help with information on referral to other agencies providing face to face counselling services or online work which is specifically directed to a younger age group.

What does the service offer? »

After initial contact, we will send out some important paperwork for you to read through and, if in agreement, please sign, and return to us via email to: contact@pregnancycrisiscare.org.uk. Alternatively, this paperwork can be posted to us at our main address (2nd Floor, Kinterbury House, Kinterbury Street, Plymouth, PL12DG). This paperwork is very important to return to us as soon as possible, as we will not be able to process your referral until this is received.

You will then be put onto our waiting list, and contacted as soon as possible to have a telephone or Zoom video initial assessment appointment by one of our Counsellors. Following this assessment, you will then be allocated to a regular Counsellor for the duration of your counselling sessions.

About the way we work »

We will provide, to the best of our ability, online counselling opportunities that endeavour to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which you will be given time and space to understand and gain insight into your situation. This process can foster growth and lead to positive change in your life. We will not be in a position to offer advice. There may be occasions where we ask questions about what you have shared. This may be to seek a clearer view of your difficulty or to clarify any misunderstanding in our communication.

‘Online’ counselling is different to face-to-face work as misunderstandings may occur due to a lack of facial expressions and tone of voice. We encourage clear communication and discussion around any miscommunication or misunderstandings.

Confidentiality and Security »

Please go to Confidentiality and Security for further details.

Guidelines for Emergency Contact »

Please go to Guidelines for Emergency Contact for further details.

How Online and Telephone counselling works »

Online counselling therapy is a way for you to engage in counselling using internet technology such as telephone or webcam video.

You direct your counselling by selecting the method of communication you feel most comfortable with. You choose the time, the place and the pace of your counselling to suit your needs.

Every effort is made to provide a safe and secure environment for your online therapy with encryption software to protect your confidentiality and remain secure.

Things to consider »

  • Are you comfortable using internet technology?
  • Would you prefer to see your counsellor face to face?
  • Do you feel you can express your feelings effectively using words?
  • Do you feel your situation is too complex to discuss via the internet?
  • Is there a computer terminal that you can use privately without interruption?
  • Text communication can sometimes be open to misunderstanding – to be aware of this and feel ok to question or clarify if need be
  • There are no non-verbal cues or body language for you or the counsellor to read – this too can lead to misunderstanding

Confidentiality »

Online counselling therapy takes place within a secure, encrypted environment to offer you confidentiality and safety.

Telephone and webcam counselling take advantage of the encrypted services offered by Zoom, and your counsellor will guide you through setting up a free account for your therapy sessions.

HOW IT WORKS »

The main type of online work Pregnancy Crisis Care offers is Webcam counselling via Zoom, or telephone counselling.

Webcam counselling

Zoom is a way for you to see your counsellor face-to-face from your computer whilst engaging in therapy. You will be guided through setting up your own encrypted Zoom account, and you will meet your counsellor on Zoom at a time that has been previously arranged. Sessions are up to 60 minutes in length. Being able to see your counsellor gives you more of the benefits you get from face-to-face counselling, but with the convenience of online therapy. By talking, you hear tone of voice, which is a way to convey empathy and with video you see non-verbal communications such as facial expressions.

Telephone counselling

This is similar to webcam counselling as it happens through the Zoom system, or via a handset, but without the visual aspects. You can choose to remain anonymous, and the conversation is encrypted if held on Zoom.

An advantage of telephone counselling is that non-verbal communication can be carried in your tone of voice, or the pace of speech, which can be picked up by your counsellor.

A disadvantage of telephone counselling is that you need a private room where you will not be overheard.

Online counselling offers certain benefits but there are also limitations that are worth bearing in mind when deciding which type of therapy will best suit your needs.

Benefits »

  • Counselling therapy from your own home at a time that suits you
  • Secure encryption software offers confidentiality and peace of mind
  • No chance that you may be seen entering the counselling practice
  • When using email, you are able to review what you are saying before sending
  • Therapy at a time, place and pace that suits you
  • Some find it easier to express their feelings by writing it down
  • Access to counselling may be more immediate
  • Flexibility to choose the technology you feel is best for you – telephone, email, live chat (when available), or webcam.