Face-to-Face & Remote Counselling
The lockdown restrictions reviewed by the First Minister on 16th April continue to allow for essential healthcare that cannot be achieved remotely. This allows for in-person counselling if it is not possible to work from home, and indeed some ‘close contact’ services such as hairdressers and barbers have been allowed to reopen. We therefore continue to offer one-to-one in-person sessions on the PF premises if either our clients or counsellors are not able to work remotely.
However, if both client and counsellor can work remotely, this option should still be used. Anyone who is meeting in-person and wants to change to remote working should speak to their counsellor, or email the PF office.
We are holding remote sessions using the Attend Anywhere platform, which can be accessed from our PF Online page. Clients should email or telephone to the PF Office if you need help with Attend Anywhere, or if you are unsure about future appointments.
We have been holding in-person sessions in our building since last September, with appropriate precautions. Our guidelines for using the building are summarised in this graphic.
There are also detailed considerations for everyone attending in-person sessions, which are aimed at keeping everyone safe from coronavirus. These are communicated ahead of any attendance and can also be viewed here.
The PF recognises that we are still in uncertain times, and the situation may change at short notice. We aim to work with a blend of remote (online and telephone) and in-person sessions for the foreseeable future, and will attempt to support the wishes of both clients and counsellors as far as we are able.
If you have an an appointment set up for a telephone or online session, please continue to notify us by email if you need to cancel. However, our office will be staffed during normal office hours and we will answering telephone calls. There is a voicemail service outside of opening hours.
Keeping Mentally Healthy
The coronavirus health crisis has been incredibly stressful and worrying, but there is quite a lot you can do to maintain your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult time.
Our colleagues at First Psychology have produced a 24 page Keeping Mentally Healthy toolkit to help. They hope it will help as many people as possible, so please feel free to share it with family and friends.
The Wellness Society has also produced a Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook to help people with a range of ideas and worksheets that focus on relieving and containing anxiety heightened by the pandemic.
Click on the images to download.
Most of our counsellors are able to offer remote sessions by telephone or video meetings, if restrictions or self-isolation require it. This allows the usual appointments to continue during periods of lockdown, and and can be used where one or other is not comfortable with meeting in person.
Our Client Guidance Sheet outlines the factors that need to be considered when having remote counselling sessions.
New Clients, and Those on our Waiting List
We are currently contacting those on our waiting list to offer them initial assessment sessions. We will be working with a blend of remote and in-person sessions for the foreseeable future, according to the needs and preferences of both clients and counsellors.