Although phone counselling is getting its momentum during COVID-19 crisis, our therapists have been working that way for years with employees using the Employment Assistance Programme. As counselling is often called talking therapy or even talking cure, the telephone seems to be the right medium for it.
The convenience of using the telephone over sessions using video is that there is more intimate focus on language that we use to frame our feelings and thoughts. Phone counselling gives the opportunity to focus on the verbal dimension in creating changes in our thinking patterns, relationships and ways we interact with the world. It is also a way of focusing on non-verbal cues looking at the interruptions, breathing, tone of voice, etc.

Phone counselling

For some people phone counselling is a necessity - they may feel unable to travel, attend crowded place or want to show themselves. For others, it may be a convenient way of starting the therapy during the coronavirus epidemic with possibilities of having a call from a car, walk or a confidential space that they will be able to carve-out from the home that they share. If you are in the latter category, your counsellor may ask you to start face to face meetings when safe to do so or at least have a face to face meeting every once in a while.

How does phone counselling work?

In many ways, phone counselling is similar to face to face or online therapy. Each session lasts 50 minutes, and in the initial appointment, your counsellor will agree with you your goals for the treatment. Talking through issues that brought you to the therapy, you will agree on the potential length of the therapy ranging from short term usually between 6 and 12 sessions to long term sometimes lasting even a few years. It is crucial that you select a therapist that you get on well; you like their tone of voice and find open to hearing their words. Even though in counselling, it is important to work through difficulties with your therapist if they appear, we should not start in this place. It is a common practice that clients check a few therapists before committing to working with one, especially if what they seek is long term treatment.

Therapists listed below are offering phone counselling, and you can contact them directly to arrange the first appointment. They will inform you about their fees and, during the initial meeting, decide if they have clinical competences to work with you. Similarly to face to face treatments, your counsellor will charge you for missed sessions and finish on time even if you are late.

In a small number of cases, they may also suggest alternative treatment to phone counselling if, in their assessment, you would benefit more from face to face or online counselling. Phone counselling sessions take place usually once a week at a regular time. The time of your appointment may change if you decide to see your clients at Kensington Counselling Rooms after the COVID-19 lockdown.

How to prepare for phone counselling?

When talking to the therapist from the convenience of your own home, please do not forget that counselling requires privacy. Even though you like to share everything with your partner or housemate, you will need to have private and uninterrupted time for the duration of each session. If you are using your smartphone, please consider updating your software and using an antivirus to make sure that your phone is ready and safe.

Regarding the content of the treatment you may wish to think through issues that bring you to therapy before your appointment, but for some of us, the initial session or even first few sessions will offer the opportunity to reflect on life and therapy goals. For some people, counselling may be challenging, and their mental health may worsen a little at the beginning as we come with the clearer realisation of our life situation. If this is something you are worried about, please tell this to your therapist as you start.

List of therapists working over the phone

Below is the list of therapists that have experience in phone counselling. Please inquire with them for their availability and fees that may vary.

Click here to view Emma Myrtle's profile

Emma Myrtle

BACP Registered Psychotherapist

Working on Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Phone: 07562228022

Click here to view Simon Wilson Stephen's profile

Simon Wilson Stephens

BACP Registered Counsellor & Psychotherapist.

Working on Mondays, Tuesdays
Phone: 07977 241 365

Click here to view Robin Robinson's profile

Robin Robinson

UKCP Accredited; BACP Registered

Working on Wednesdays
Phone: 07983 248 558