Online and phone psychotherapy

You can access high quality psychotherapy from UKCP therapists who work on the phone and via video call. When in-person sessions are not possible, you can still find the support you need.

More and more psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors are offering sessions remotely. You might find this an appealing option if it fits in better with your schedule or if its your only option for seeing a certain therapist. You also have a wider choice of therapists to work with when you’re not restricted by location.

Whatever the reason, you can feel confident that you will access high quality psychotherapy working with a UKCP-registered psychotherapist by phone or video call.

Search the UKCP Find a Therapist directory to find remote therapy.


What to expect

Just like in-person psychotherapy, remote therapy offers a non-judgmental, safe, and confidential space for you to reflect on any emotional difficulties with a trained therapist. That might include grief, anxiety, relationship difficulties, addiction or something else.

The remote sessions would most likely work in the same way as in-person ones. Some psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors do work differently when working with someone remotely, for example offering shorter or more frequent sessions. Whether in-person or remote, you will have the opportunity to explore issues or concerns you want to work on with your therapist.

Different therapists will support you to do this in different ways. Some will support you to talk generally about your feelings, behaviours and thoughts and others will have specific exercises to do this. They won’t tell you what to do but will listen and may ask questions which can help you to see things in a new light.


How can online therapy help?

Some people find that it’s easier to be vulnerable when they have therapy that isn’t face to face. You may notice that you can open up more on a video call or the phone. This can help you to express your feelings and process them in a safe environment with a trained professional.


Things to consider

Seeking out therapists with specialist training

Some people offering online therapy, counselling or coaching have not been accredited by a regulatory body like UKCP. This means they haven’t met our rigorous standards of training and continuous professional development or signed up to our Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. By using our Find a Therapist directory, you can find a psychotherapist who is qualified to support you and is committed to ethical conduct.


Creating a safe space

You will be in your own environment when you have remote therapy. It’s important that this space feels private and safe and that you aren’t worried about being overheard. This might mean encouraging housemates or family members to go out while you have your session. Or, if necessary, going for a walk or sitting in a stationary car. You can also use headphones to reduce the risk of your conversation being overheard.


Being aware of what might feel different online

Body language and facial expressions can tell us a lot about how we are feeling. Online and on the phone, it’s more challenging to bring these social cues in to therapy. But being aware of the way your body responds in therapy can help you to do this. Silences might also feel more obvious and awkward online or on the phone. Talking about how this feels for you can help you to explore things you haven’t been aware of, and build a relationship with your therapist.


Thinking about security

Confidentiality is essential for building a strong therapeutic relationship. Talk to your therapist about the platform you will use for your video calls and discuss any concerns you have about how secure it is. During sessions, turn off listening devices like virtual assistants Alexa and Siri.


Planning for technical issues

Unstable broadband connections can feel frustrating when screens freeze or sentences are missed. To avoid this, it can help if you are the only person in your home using the internet when you have therapy. Disconnect devices from the internet that you are not using. Check if your device’s software is up-to-date ahead of your session and close other windows or applications. Make a plan with your therapist about what happens if the internet connection drops. For example, you might continue on the phone.

Search the UKCP Find a Therapist directory to find online therapy.


Resources for UKCP members

If you are a UKCP member and you would like more information about working with a client or service user remotely we have some resources to support you.

Find a therapist near you