Home working now looks like it’s going to remain the not-so-new normal until 2021, at least. So, what does that mean for Counsellors andTherapists? Whilst most of us are yearning to get back to face-to-face sessions with our clients, remote working has revealed a few peasant surprises! Here goes with the upside:
Wherever we end up after here, one thing we know is that it won’t be precisely where we were before. Whilst we have no crystal ball, the smart money is on a hybrid way of working – a blend of in-person and online sessions with Clients. Getting your business online ready will help you better navigate those new waters.
One of the real pluses of home working is the flexibility that scheduling Zoom calls offers as your Clients (and you) have far more flex in their daily routine. Giving you greater ability to maximise your schedule both now and when you go back to in-person consultations.
The better and healthier you feel, both mentally and physically, the better you can be at helping others with their problems. Seen through this lens, a new working rhythm that provides you more time and scope to look after yourself is a thing to be embraced! So, use new working habits to carve out a routine that keeps you at optimum health.
It goes without saying that online gives you access to more clients. But there are now a range of good therapy networks that will send registered members potential customers – you can accept or decline these as you wish; giving you an easy way to top up your client list.
But it goes without saying that there are also a number of downsides to online working for Counsellors. Here area few of the big ones that we’ve been hearing:
For most of us, online sessions are charged at a reduced rate toClients. Whilst you incur less costs to deliver them it will often also result in less profit too as the reduction in fee (often between 30 – 50% for many Counsellors) is greater than any cost saving.
Online is a great stop gap but it’s no replica for the real thing. Not only does being face-to-face with Clients allow you to do your job better as you can more readily pick up on all the unspoken cues; it also allows you to build trust and understanding in a far more profound way than through a flickering screen.
Obviously, not all conditions can be treated through online therapy. For instance severe mental health conditions that make the patient a danger to themselves or others are not best treated through online sessions alone. There are also some therapeutic approaches, such as art therapy or play therapy that require in person interaction, limiting the scope of what can effectively be delivered online.
But probably the biggest loss from working online is the ability to build your professional network and spend times with colleagues. Those professional and social interactions that help you build your career, develop your skills and feel plugged into your profession.