Instant Messaging Counselling (IM Counselling)
Instant Messaging Counselling, which is also known as Instant Chat Counselling, uses a phone app or computer program that allows an instant conversation between Client and Counsellor in a text-based format. Sessions are held in the same structure as a Face to Face session where the Client will prearrange a suitable time for the session. The Counsellor will then invite the Client to join them in a secure “Chat room” within the app. The app used by BrainHub CPW is “Signal” which is considered by the European Commission to be one of the most secure messaging apps available. It uses end-to-end encryption by default, and unlike other apps, it does not store any message metadata or use the cloud to back up messages. The session is then held in “real-time” via the internet. Sessions are usually an hour a week, but this is flexible to the individual needs of the client.
We would still hold a shorter 30 min session prior to the commencement of full sessions to go through the assessment form, Client contract and to ensure that there is a full understanding and expectations of the service and that you feel comfortable and that it is appropriate for the client.
IM Counselling offers a convenient and accessible form of counselling for people, which can often be easier to fit into our busy lives. The current situation with COVID-19 also means that it is an option that can be used now, for people to find the support they need without breaking the Lockdown rules, or needing to speak verbally when it may be difficult with other people in the house. IM Counselling offers some unique potential and can be highly effective if used correctly with the right client. It does also present some difficulties and challenges and the client and counsellor need to be well informed of these prior to engaging in a therapeutic relationship.
As with our face to face service payment is required a minimum of 48 hours prior to the appointment via BACS. If payment has not been received the counsellor will email or text the client to remind them and check, they still want the appointment. If payment is still not made and you have not discussed this with your counsellor then the session will not go ahead.
BrainHub CPW would encourage anyone who is interested in potentially using the IM Counselling Service that we offer, to contact us (call to action) and discuss your thoughts and worries with us, we are happy to answer any questions and to discuss whether this is an appropriate service for you.
For further information on the Advantages and Disadvantages of using Instant Messaging Counselling we have a blog available here with more details. Alternatively contact us to discuss it further.