Email Counselling

Laptop and a cup of coffeeYou can write to me any time – day or night – whenever you need it most. This is one of the beauties of online writing therapy. Using a secure, encrypted online counselling system, you can let me know what’s going on in your life and about the changes you’d love to see. Tell me about your hopes, your dreams, your struggles. Anything you like.  I’ll write back to you within 3 business days – at the most (often sooner). I see my role as your support, a compassionate, non-judgemental ear to bear witness to your story, your experiences; I am your partner in working towards the change you want in your life. I may have ideas, suggestions or resources to share with you, perhaps some new perspectives, new information. If you’re interested, I can share some exercises for you to go through on your own – or to work through with me (everything is optional!) But always, I believe that people are the experts on their own lives, their own experiences. So, together, as we write back and forth, we can brainstorm and talk about the things that are most important to you and your life – and how to begin creating the change you’re dreaming of.

Online counselling helps to clarify my own thought process. I can rethink and rewrite my comments. I couldn’t do that in face-to-face counselling.” – from the article, “Being There

If you’ve had counselling before, you may be familiar with the common experience of getting to the end of the session before the most important things come up! and walking out the door thinking, “oh, I wish I’d talked about that instead”. But with writing therapy, you have the opportunity to reflect and think things through, to get to the heart of what’s most important to you, and go back and edit as much as you wish.

Healing through writing. The process of sharing your story, writing about your experiences, may be one of the most therapeutic aspects of writing therapy. For example, as researcher James Pennebaker explains in Writing to Heal,

“The evidence is mounting that the act of writing about traumatic experience for as little as fifteen or twenty minutes a day for three or four days can produce measurable changes in physical and mental health. Emotional writing also can affect people’s sleeping habits, work efficiency, and how they connect to others.”

While Pennebaker’s work is not specific to counselling (and you may or may not find yourself wanting to write about stressful experiences) other researchers have found that this kind of writing process can make online counselling a powerful tool:

“Over the past 20 years, numerous well-controlled studies about written disclosure of stressful experiences have shown positive effects on physical and psychological health” (Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Complicated Grief: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Wagner, Knaevelsrud and Maercker, 2005)

In Writing and Health: Some Practical Advice, Pennebaker warns, “Many people report that after writing, they sometimes feel somewhat sad or depressed. Like seeing a sad movie, this typically goes away in a couple of hours. If you find that you are getting extremely upset about a writing topic, simply stop writing or change topics.”  Like therapy in general, it’s not always easy and can sometimes bring up negative emotions.  But it can also be very rewarding.

You can take your time, re-write, and keep a written record of your sessions.  Sometimes, you might find it helpful to draft a message to me, but save it instead of sending right away.  Sit on it for a couple of days, give yourself time to reflect, edit, re-write.  Many people find this a helpful part of the process, something you can’t do in face-to-face counselling.  Another benefit of writing therapy is that you get to keep transcripts of all your sessions, and this can be valuable to look back on; remember important insights when similar troubles come up again.  You may even notice things you hadn’t noticed the first time or be reminded of the encouragement and support gained from an earlier session.  You’re free write to me whenever you wish, without having to schedule and commit to appointments.

I can reread [my counsellor’s] comments, which are often profound and moving. I can respond whenever and however I wish. I can even print out the sessions to reflect on. In the past, when I left an in-person session with a therapist, I often felt better, but I couldn’t always recall exactly what we talked about”  from “Being There

padlock_brassOnline therapy is confidential.  All our sessions take place in writing (video or live chat may be available in the future – see below) through  confidential, secure, encrypted email known as “Hushmail” which has “a proven track record of providing industry-standard OpenPGP encryption to protect the contents of the email, ensuring its security, privacy, and authenticity. In addition, all communications between you and our servers use a secure connection (our A+ grade SSL/TLS connection is rated by Qualsys SSL Labs).”

Be sure to also click here to check out some of the many other benefits of online “writing therapy” and get a better idea of the how it might be helpful for you.

I find online counselling to be more helpful than face-to-face. It can happen anytime, any place.” – online therapy patient, in the article “Being There” 

Note: Live Chat and video counselling may be offered in the future.  Please feel free to send me a quick message and let me know if this is something that appeals to you, so I can get an idea of the amount of interest in this additional option.

If you have any questions or concerns you’d like to talk to me about, please do feel free to phone 604-771-4444 or write to me (click here for contact info).

The support and convenience of online therapy may help you find ways to heal, to resolve problems, or begin to create the life you want. Click here to begin writing to me – anytime of day or night.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Help is available – from the privacy and convenience of your own home

AND your own schedule

You’re Not Alone!

 

If you’d like to try online counselling, please click to get started.

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