Remote vs Face to Face Counselling - Which to Choose?

Posted 5th of July 2021 by Gill Wier

Are you thinking about booking an appointment with us?  We are currently offering most sessions remotely by telephone or video call but some of our counsellors are returning to the office to deliver face to face sessions as well. If you are not sure which mode of counselling would work best for you, this article should help you to decide.


Remote counselling (via telephone or video call)


  • Research has shown that remote counselling can be just as effective as face to face counselling. 
  • Meeting remotely eliminates the risk of infection being passed between counsellor and client so is the safest form of counselling during the pandemic.
  • You may feel less anxious and more comfortable because you are in the safety of your own home rather than face to face with a new person in a new place.
  • There is no travel time and more flexibility about where and when you speak to your counsellor.
  • If you have to move house to a different part of the UK you can keep the same counsellor.
  • Remote methods make counselling more accessible for people with disabilities or anyone who finds it hard to leave their home.


  • You need to ensure you have a quiet and confidential space in your home and the appropriate technology (for video sessions).
  • Occasionally there can be technical problems which cause a disruption to the session.
  • You miss out on the physical presence of the counsellor and they cannot read your body language so easily so there is potential for misunderstandings.
  • Some people don’t feel comfortable about speaking to a counsellor without actually seeing them face to face.

Face to face counselling


  • It feels more like a real human encounter, you can make eye contact more easily and some people find the counsellor’s physical presence reassuring.
  • There are no barriers to reading body language.  It can be easier to communicate face to face if you don’t share the same first language with your counsellor.
  • Meeting in a neutral location away from the home can aid the therapeutic process, especially if it’s hard to find a private space at home.
  • Some people like to use the journey time as a transition time to help them reflect on what has been shared in the session.


  • There is some level of risk in meeting face to face during the pandemic, though we do have safety measures in place to reduce this risk.
  • Some people feel more anxious or vulnerable about sharing personal details face to face so it may take longer to resolve the deeper issues that you need to work through.
  • You have to factor in travel time to and from the session and find a counsellor located fairly close to where you live or work.

If you still have questions about how remote and face to face counselling work do get in touch with us. 

0114 326 0043


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