COVID-19 and Remote Sessions Online and Telephone Counselling Telephone Counselling April 2020 Working Together on the Telephone This page summarises the main areas that we need to pay attention to before, during and after telephone sessions. The creation of a confidential space is especially important when we work on the phone because we are in different locations with different challenges. Before Your Session Equipment You will need a reliable telephone: • A landline phone • A mobile with strong signal It can be helpful to use a personal headphone and microphone like the ones that you use with your phone, so that you are not holding your phone to your head for 50 minutes. They are often known as ‘Skype headsets’. You may want to use the ‘speakerphone’ option, but be careful that there is no-one who will be able to overhear the conversation. Preparing your space It’s important that you are able to speak freely and confidentially so please ensure that you have: • A quiet space where you will not be disturbed o Close down your computer or tablet o Switch off notifications etc. on your phone o Ignore the door bell • You may need to negotiate time with people with whom you share your space • Make sure you are not in a spot where your phone signal is weak or variable, if using a mobile. Setting • A place where you can sit comfortably • A glass of water • Tissues • Your diary for arranging our next appointment. During Your Session Receiving or Making the Call We will have agreed an appointment date and time, which is likely to be the same as your regular session at tWellspring. Be ready to call your counsellor at your appointment time, or for your counsellor to call you if that is what has been arranged. Pacing Even though you know each other, telephone sessions offer a different experience from meeting face-to-face. One of the main differences that you need to work with is how just having a voice connection affects the conversation. It is helpful to remember to take a breath and slow down. Dealing with problems Things can and do go wrong with phone signals. If you get cut off for any reason then whoever originated the call should wait for two minutes and then try to connect again. If the problem persists then you may be able to use text or email to work how you want to proceed. After Your Session Your confidentiality You may want to remove the contact details of Wellspring from your phone after your call, especially if others have access to your phone. You counsellor will remove your details from their contact list once you have ended your online counselling sessions. All existing arrangements for confidentiality (risk of harm, supervision, record keeping, etc.), donations, cancellation policy and professional ethics still apply when working online.