WHO ARE WE?
Online Counselling is a free and friendly service for young people in Croydon, Sutton or Merton. Click here to watch a short video about Online Counselling.
WHAT DO WE DO?
- Provide a safe online space to help you talk about difficult things that you might be facing in your life. We'll allocate you a trained counsellor who will listen and support you, without judgement.
- Rather than talking about your problems face to face, you can type them out.
- Instead of using video like skype, we offer online counselling via private, confidential messages which are sent between you and your counsellor. We also offer ‘live chat sessions’ where you can talk to your counsellor 1-2-1 online at an agreed time once a week.
WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
Sometimes it can be really hard to ask for help. Perhaps you are finding it hard to cope at the moment? Life might feel difficult or overwhelming? You may have lost your confidence or stopped enjoying the things you used to? Perhaps you’ve reached the stage where you feel like you need help, but you’re not sure what to do next...
You might feel like counselling is an option, but find the thought of sitting in a room with a counsellor feels a bit daunting? Or perhaps you’re finding that practical things are stopping you, like finding time to make an appointment, trouble arranging childcare or physical issues which make it hard to get out and about.
That’s where online counselling comes in. We believe in giving you a choice about what kind of support you receive, so that you can get things off your chest in your own time, on your own terms. Find out more about how that works here.
If you are a young person aged from Croydon, Sutton or Merton, then the Online Counselling Service is here to provide you with online counselling to help you through tough times.
There are two ways to request an online counsellor:
If you are not already registered for our Online Support Services, you will need to complete our online registration form. This form will ask you a few questions about yourself as well as ask you to tell us a little bit about why you are registering and why you want to talk to an online counsellor. (All of this information is subject to our data policy and will be kept private and confidential).
If you are already a registered user who has been using the online workshops service, or have already completed some online counselling, you will be able to request a counsellor using your existing account. Simply go to the homepage and select ‘I want to talk to a counsellor’.
Once you have completed your registration form (1) or requested an online counsellor (2), you will be sent an automated email acknowledging your request.
A member of the online counselling team will respond with an introductory message within 72 hours. This will aim to include some information about who your counsellor is going to be and when you can expect to hear from them. To view this message, you will need to log in and look at your "My Counselling" section of your "My Page" profile.
'MEETING' YOUR COUNSELLOR:
The next message you will then receive is your first message from your allocated online counsellor. In this first message, your counsellor will want to get to know you a bit better and what you're hoping to use counselling to talk about. They will also tell you a bit more about how online counselling works, so that you can decide if it feels right for you.
To read a bit more about this, please look at Our Counselling Agreement. This should give you an idea about what to expect, in terms of how many online ‘sessions’ you will have and whether these will take place via ‘Live Chat’ or ‘Messaging’.
If you have any questions, your counsellor will be happy to go through these with you – it’s really important to us that everything feels clear, so that you can get on with your sessions. That way you and your counsellor can begin to explore some of the things that are going on in your life and begin to think about what will be the best way forward for you.
TROUBLE USING THE WEBSITE?
Sometimes things can go wrong. For example, you might forget your username or password or you might not be able to find something you are looking for. Have a look in our FAQs section to see if you can find the answers there.
If you’re still stuck, click on the ‘I need help on the site’ button on the homepage and tell us what help you need. Our aim will be to get back to you within 72 hours and point you in the right direction.
KEEPING THINGS PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
If you are thinking about talking to a counsellor, whether online or face to face, one of the most important things you’ll probably want to know is whether what you say will be kept private and confidential.
At Off the Record, we keep what you tell us is kept private, in line with our Confidentiality Policy. This means that your online counsellor will not tell anyone what you talk about together on the Online Support Services website.
However, there are a few exceptions to this, which you will find detailed in the Confidentiality Policy. Your counsellor may also discuss their work anonymously with a supervisor, who makes sure that the counsellor is working effectively (in line with BACP Guidelines).