How does e-counselling work?

What does e-counselling offer?

As per our face-to-face counselling, we will offer you up to six sessions with a trained online counsellor. This may be enough to help you resolve your difficulties. We will point you to workshops or groups, on-line resources and other self-help material and to other University services, which may help. 

Since this is support at a distance, should we feel that e-counselling is insufficient or counter-productive for your needs further suggestions of other forms of support will be made. 

What can you expect?

This way of working involves exchanging email sessions, usually on a weekly basis. Exchanges are sent as an attachment in Word format, which is password protected for additional security. Your pass code will be given to you once therapy starts; you will receive a discreet text message with this information. You will be unable to open your Word document without it. 

The counsellor will contact you with a date and time by which you will be asked to send in your email session. They will reply to you within 48 hours of this time. 

You may write your feelings and thoughts at any time during the week as this may be releasing in itself. However, please email documents in manageable chunks of around 500 words (roughly one side of A4 in font size 12). Your counsellor will spend up to an hour on replying to your emails each week and send her response within the agreed timeframe. 

If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so as soon as possible by emailing your counsellor, emailing studentcounselling@plymouth.ac.uk or calling the Learning Gateway on +44 1752 587676 who will alert the counsellor. Your counsellor will also contact you if they are unable to reply to your session within the agreed timeframe. New appointments will then be renegotiated. 

If you require technical support, please contact IT services

Please note, as with face-to-face counselling, we do have a waiting list so it may be a little while before you are allocated to one of our counsellors.

Do we keep copies of your communications?

Basic demographic and statistical information about each contact made with our service is saved and recorded on our secure database. We comply with the Data Protection Act (1998) which requires us to obtain your consent for such records to be kept; you will be asked to agree to this when completing the online referral form. 

Email correspondence and session notes (Word documents) will be kept on our secure password protected database for a period of six years, in line with University policy. All records, transcripts and case notes will be destroyed after this point, as recommended by our professional body. 

Please note, you will be responsible for the safe-keeping of any correspondence you receive and store on your own computer.