Life Supports is a national network of qualified and experienced counsellors and psychologists. We provide professional, evidence-based counselling that is effective, practical and client-centred.
In addition to our face-to-face counselling services, we also offer online counselling sessions via a range of secure end-to-end encrypted telehealth platforms (such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and WhatsApp) for clients throughout Australia.
Same day appointments are available seven days a week throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, including evenings and weekends
What is online counselling?
Online counselling, which you may hear described as ‘telehealth’, is counselling that’s provided online via video-call services like Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and Whatsapp. Although in-person consultations can feel more familiar, they may not be possible for many people, including those with underlying health issues, busy lives and families, limited mobility, geographic isolation or those living far away from high quality services.
Can online counselling help me?
Online counselling services can help people with a range of mental health issues, including:
- Family conflicts and worries
- Anger management or emotional regulation
- Stress, worry
- Panic disorder
However, online therapy may not be suited for you if you are experiencing a crisis or do not feel comfortable talking online in your own home. So it’s important to seek professional, in-person counselling if you need it.
Reasons to choose online counselling
Video counselling is convenient, confidential and highly accessible. Reasons that many of our clients choose online counselling include:
- Affordability and privacy
- No wait list
- Work with your preferred therapist, wherever they are in Australia
- Preference for counselling within one’s own familiar environment
- Work commitments: lunchtime, evening and weekend appointments available
- Family commitments: access services without having to organise/pay for childcare
- High need for confidentiality
- Geographic isolation
- Living in/travelling between multiple locations, including international sites
- Mobility and chronic health issues impacting ability to travel to an office appointment
- Lack of transport options and local counselling offices
- Long-distance relationships: online couples counselling can cater to partners living in different locations.
Specialist counselling services available for online sessions
Life Supports Skype counselling includes services for:
- Anger management
- General concerns
- Sexual abuse
- Sex and intimacy
This list is not exhaustive. If you are experiencing other issues, talk to one of our consultants who can match you to a therapist skilled in meeting your unique personal support needs.
How does online counselling work?
So, you’ve decided you might like to try online counselling, but how exactly do you go about it?
Step 1: contact the provider
The first step is to research online counselling providers, and get in touch with them to set up a meeting.
Step 2: book an appointment that suits you
Find a date and time that works for you – if noise and interruptions are common in your house, it might be good to choose a time when these will be limited, for example when kids are at school.
Step 3: an email will be sent with a meeting link
Once your appointment is booked, the counsellor will send you an email containing a meeting link for whichever video-call platform you’re using. This will probably contain a hyperlink (a link to a new webpage) which you can click on; the link will take you to the video-call platform and sign you into the conversation.
Step 4: the waiting room
On many video-call platforms, you will be placed in a virtual “waiting room” while you wait for the host (your counsellor) to admit you to the call. Then, you will enter the call and you will be able to see and hear your counsellor, and they can see and hear you once you enable your video and microphone.
Some tips for improving your online counselling session
For an online counselling session, it’s important that you find a quiet, private space in your home away from noise and disturbance, so you can feel safe and comfortable talking openly with your counsellor.
You will also need a device (laptop, iPad or even smartphone will do) with a camera, microphone and speaker and a stable internet connection.
However, we understand that this isn’t always feasible for everyone, and that a lack of privacy or the lack of a suitable device should not be a barrier to the provision of good mental healthcare.
Enquire today about online counselling
Online video counselling is effective, confidential and convenient. All video calls are end-to-end encrypted, ensuring your privacy and confidentiality are maintained in every session.
Bulk billing is available for our telehealth service- and you can commence immediately. Life Supports specialist online counsellors and psychologists offer flexible appointment times, including same-day appointments, evenings and weekends.
View our counsellors and psychologists who provide video counselling. To make a booking or enquiry, please call 1300 735 030. Alternatively, you can make a confidential online enquiry here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does payment work for online counselling?
With online counselling, payment may be a little different than attending your session in person. Most likely, your counsellor will email you after the session with an invoice which details their bank account details, so that you can transfer the fees electronically via your online or telephone banking.
How much does online counselling cost?
Mostly, online counselling sessions cost the same as regular counselling sessions, which can range from $90 to $180, depending on the counsellor.
Does Medicare cover online counselling?
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Medicare has continued to cover online counselling services with professionally-trained psychologists at the same rates as in-person services.
Medicare rebates are available for some online counselling services with Life Supports, so online counselling won’t cost you more.
Is online counselling safe?
Online counselling is perfectly safe. Video-call services like Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp and FaceTime are secure and end-to-end encrypted.
End-to-end encryption is a method of secure encryption, when only the users participating in the communication can see or hear what’s being said. It prevents anyone from being able to listen in or retrieve data from the communication, including the provider of the service itself.
This means that any conversations you have with your counsellor during an online counselling session are completely private and confidential, just as in a regular face to face counselling session.
What are the main differences between online and in person counselling?
The differences between online and in-person counselling include:
Feeling closer to someone you meet in person
Sometimes, it’s easier to feel comfortable with someone if you’re actually in their presence, absorbing their social cues and getting to know them. However, most video-call systems nowadays are sophisticated enough that you can see and hear the other person very clearly, which can make it feel almost like you’re in the same room.
Online counselling can be more convenient
Online counselling can offer a convenient alternative to in-person sessions. For example, it’s often more flexible, and can be worked around regular office hours – some counsellors will offer sessions on weeknights or weekends.
It also allows you to take the session in the comfort of your own home, which can be relaxing for some people.