What is E-Counselling and how does it work

As our daily lives have become intertwined with technology, e-counselling (also known as cyber counselling) has become an additional and effective way to receive support and guidance for many people facing challenges in their lives. This method of counselling involves communicating with a professional counsellor through a series of e-mail exchanges using a secure server and encrypted format to protect client privacy/confidentiality.

Once you have registered to obtain an account through Counsellor Xchange at https://www.counsellorx.com/CA/kimcounsellor and have paid for my service, you are ready to begin communicating with me. Each time I respond to you, you will receive notification of my response at an email address you choose to give to me. That email address is used simply to send you a notification that my confidential and secure response is available to you at your Counsellor Xchnage account.  How often or how long you choose to work with me is your decision and based on your needs. Once you send me a message you will receive my response within 2 business days. Your words are carefully reviewed and considered by me and my responses are based on a full hour of counselling time. My fee for service for online counselling is $75.00 Canadian/exchange.  Some insurance plans cover the services of a social worker. Check with your insurance provider. Counselling services may also be covered by your Employee Assistance Program.

Advantages/Benefits of E-Counselling

Convenience: When working online with a counsellor there is no need to travel to an office for appointments. You can respond when and how often you like from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Many clients find this beneficial if they live busy lives or perhaps live in a small community with limited resources.

Anonymity:  Some people find that communicating online feels easier and more comfortable than working with a counsellor face to face.  There is no worry about ‘meeting’ other clients or people you may know and this non-threatening format encourages open and honest communication and reflection.

Value of the Written Word: Writing (ie. Journaling or letters) has long been a therapeutic tool to express and contain emotions, and to gain clarity and insight. Online counselling expands on this experience by allowing a client to be ‘heard’ by another and to receive information, encouragement, support and feedback as they discover what will help them to overcome challenges or to live a life that is healthier and happier. Using online counselling you have the time to compose your thoughts, to stop or pause as you desire and to reflect on what is shared between you and your counsellor. In addition, you have a permanent record of your ‘sessions’ so that you can take your counsellors words with you to review and see progress or changes you have made over time.

When E-Counselling is not recommended

While online counselling can be effective for a wide variety of issues, challenges and situations, it is not for everyone.  Since exchanges are not ‘live’ and counsellor responses not immediate it is not recommended that you use this format if you are:

  • Feeling suicidal

  • Involved in a crisis or emergency situation

  • Living in a situation involving domestic violence or threats of violence

  • Seeking to process or address past sexual abuse or trauma

  • Suffer from psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, thought disorganization)  

In these cases you would benefit from more immediate face-to face counselling available in the community where you live or work.

Should you begin to work online with me and find yourself in crisis you can send an email marked *urgent* in the subject line.  Messages are checked regularly each day, (excepting weekends and holidays) and I will try to reply as quickly as I can. However, any serious life threatening emergencies such as suicidal thinking should be addressed immediately by calling a local crisis line or calling 9-1-1.  

Should you have any additional questions about E-Counselling or how it works you can feel free to contact me before registering at kim@mkcounselling.ca or by calling 289-301-2516. Please note this email address is for questions you may have regarding my practice. It is not secure and is not intended to be used for online sessions.