Lisa McLellan

If I were to define myself with two words, they would be: β€œadventurous dreamer.”I have lived life pursuing my dreams, sometimes in the face of great adversity, and continue to do so while I assist others who wish to overcome the challenges and obstacles life places in their path.

The Upsides and Downsides of Remote Video Counselling

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Hello there πŸ™‚

Thanks for showing an interest in my posts – rare as they are. My direct client work keeps me busy and is my main focus, so finding the time to write is all about balance.

There’s been a move to remote work and video counselling as a result of Covid, and throughout all the and ups and downs, I’ve done all I can to be thoughtful about how best to serve my clients. It’s been an evolving process, and at times, one that has kept me up at night. I base my decisions on what seems logical to me, what my gut says (that intuition thingy) and what is going to offer the most protection and greatest assistance to my clients.

My work has always been about ethics, do no harm, and helping as much as possible, so I let those values lead me.

And so here we are in November of 2022.

My decision for my work is that I will keep the majority of my practice remote video based. Why, you may ask? What are the upsides and downsides of remote video counselling? Here we go:

The upsides of video counselling:

1) It’s green and helping to save our planet. I’ve had my practice in my home since 2006. The commuting hours and gas I’ve saved because of that has been immense. Remote video counselling saves you commute time and gas costs and you get that good feeling of positive contribution toward our miraculous home. πŸ™‚

2) You get to remain in your comfort zone, as you move out of your comfort zone. Stack those pillows up. Cozy in. Make your space when you have counselling how you like it. Light candles. You have control of your space.

3) If you aren’t feeling well, but are feeling well enough to still do a session, you don’t have to cancel the session and wait for the next one. You can keep the momentum of your work going.

4) If you live in a small community with limited access to counsellors/therapists who specialize in the areas you are looking to address, you can access a counsellor anywhere BC. This one is HUGE. It doesn’t matter where you live in BC. You have access to the whole province. Anyone in any area you need for treatment as long as they are doing remote video counselling. If you live in Creston BC and there aren’t any therapists in your area who specialize in trauma…you can see a therapist who has the knowledge and tools to help you.

5) Remote video counselling has proven to be just as effective as in person counselling

6) If your therapist/counsellor is sick or feeling unwell/ but not that unwell, they don’t have to cancel your session. They can still keep the appointment.

In September of this year I had Covid. Because I’d made the choice to maintain my practice remote based, and because I had a mild case of Covid, and because the majority of my clients were through remote video, I was able to continue to my work. I didn’t have to send out alerts to any clients that they were a close contact, causing major adjustments to their lives, I didn’t have to cancel on people depending on me, delaying my service for two or three weeks, our work continued with the same momentum. My clients weren’t stressed, they were safe, as they should feel in a counselling relationship.

7) A summary of all the above…remote counselling/therapy is very helpful right now in keeping the momentum moving forward with less stress for clients. πŸ™‚ No commute, time efficient, less gas consumption, fewer cancellations, fewer alerts about illness, easier access to experts in your specialty of choice, and just as good positive outcomes as in person therapy.

Downsides to remote video therapy:

1) There are times and situations where you just want to have that in person energy and human contact, especially if you’ve been isolated or have been through a horrific situation. I make space for that in my practice. This is a need and I acknowledge it.

2) Privacy. If you are in a situation where privacy is a need and you can’t get that in your space, in person sessions are what you need.

3) Technology stuff (issues): I understand and recognize that there can be limited access and/or fears of technology. Whether you choose to see me or someone else, please talk with your counsellor about this and your needs. We understand that there may be limitations/limited access and want to work to figure out how best to serve you. There are in person sessions available. In terms of technology fears, it has been a joy to work with clients who haven’t been exposed to video platforms seeing their increased confidence and growth as I work with them.

I’m sure there are more upsides and downsides I haven’t included. Let me know your thoughts. Lisa

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