Potential Benefits of Telephone Counselling

18 September 2020 , Posted by Rachel Bate & Julie Loveny

Have you thought about seeking help recently but stopped at the thought of a few potential barriers? Is something holding you back, such as work and personal commitments, a difficult roster, financial obstacles or the idea of being in a face to face environment? If so, then perhaps telephone counselling may prove to be an effective support for you.

Some people find that they can actually open up better over the phone, as they can be in a more comfortable and familiar environment, they don’t need to worry about traveling to and from the appointment and for FIFO workers they may find it easier to organise through their rosters. Telephone counselling can provide people worried about discrimination or social stigmas surrounding counselling and therapy a setup that they feel more comfortable expressing themselves in. While there are some conditions that may not be suitable for phone counselling, talking to a health professional over the phone may be a great way to find the right pathway and supports for you.

There are however a few disadvantages to counselling over the phone that you should consider when seeking this type of support. Because there is an absence of visual cues (except in the case of video calls) both parties will need to respond verbally a little more, which can affect the flow of the session. Some people also find it difficult to build a rapport with another person over the phone, although this can be built over time if that is the type of support you’re seeking. Additionally technological difficulties are not uncommon so it’s worth being aware of your connection before starting a session so you don’t risk dropping out mid-conversation.

Some people may question the effectiveness of non-face to face counselling, but you don’t need to be in front of a person to receive quality support for your mental health. If you find that a face to face counselling style is not the best option for you at this time, consider the other options out there such as phone and online counselling. If you can find a way to gain qualified support through a more convenient and accessible way, why not give it a try?

Telephone counselling resources:

1800 721 997 – a specialised 24/hr drug and alcohol support line for FIFO workers and their families. This is completely free and offers counselling and support service referrals.

1300 735 030 – (https://lifesupportscounselling.com.au/phone-counselling/) Life Support Counselling provides telephone counselling (as well as in-person counselling across Australia) for a range of needs from relationships, to anger management, to grief and loss.

1300 224 636 – (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support) The Beyond Blue support service and talk to a trained mental health professional who can provide information, advice, and let you know a few places that can further support you.

1300 789 978 – (https://mensline.org.au/) MensLine Australia can provide telephone and online support for men experiencing relationship and family difficulties.

And this link here provides a more extensive link to online and telephone resources for Australia.

If you feel that you or someone you know are in need of crisis support or suicide prevention services, please contact:

Lifeline – 13 11 14 (https://www.lifeline.org.au/)

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, contact 000 as soon as possible.