How I would create a safe and supportive environment for clients who engage in email, Internet and telephone counselling
i am actually quite fortunate to have been able to experience both Internet and telephone counselling and I have actually been able to develop a strong and meaningful therapeutic alliance with someone whilst only working with them from a telephone perspective .
in the domain of telephone counselling it is required that you are able to give your clients more information than you normally would in a face to face situation such as relevant counsellor self-disclosure to build and maintain a therapeutic alliance , the counselling space must be quiet , a head set maybe preferred as to prevent tired hands holding the phone , all distractions such as Mobile phones and computers should be only used as a necessity as not to distract from the clients issues , in telephone counselling it is important to convey warmth and empathy in your voice tone and also in your other verbal responses such as
The show of active listening by use of responses such as uh huh, go on
Clear answers about confidentiality also still need to be given
if speaking to clients for the first time it is often helpful to speak about the centres policies and procedures ie this service operates 24 hours a day feel free to call back at any time if you need to.
A good way of starting off is
Hello, life line (e.g.)
How can I help you today?
or what brings you to call us today?
It may also be helpful to ask if they have used this service before