Julia Bellerby
Counselling, Psychotherapy, Coaching and Counsellor supervision
Grad. Dip Counselling, Cert. Counsellor Supervision, Dip. Coaching
Mobile: 07939 255425  |  Email: Click here

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Call me on 07939 255425 or click here to contact me by email.

Counselling by phone, video link or online
My premises are in York and most clients prefer to come and see me to work face to face. But I believe counselling at a distance can be equally effective. In fact for some people it has positive advantages: people with disabilities, those who find travelling difficult or who have very little spare time, clients who move away from the area or who find the idea of being face to face excruciating. If you want a therapist who specialises in a particular issue, you can choose without being restricted to your geographical area.

This is an article I wrote about telephone counselling for eating disorders for BEAT magazine.

Disordered eating is a symptom of other problems: feeling bad about yourself, trouble in relationships, driving yourself too hard, difficulties in your past perhaps.

We package up all our tricky emotions in one big worry – about weight – and we numb our feelings by starving and bingeing. So it makes sense to unravel the underlying problems and that’s where counselling can help.

When I had eating problems myself some forty years ago, there was precious little help. So when I trained as a counsellor I knew I wanted to specialise in working with people who were going through the sort of thing that had so blighted my teens and twenties. I became a volunteer on Beat’s Self-Help Network and learned just how powerful the telephone could be in helping callers to start unlocking the reasons behind their eating problems. In fact several callers told me that they wouldn’t have dreamt of talking so openly if they’d been face-to-face with someone.

I qualified as a counsellor, set up my own practice and aimed to make telephone counselling a vital part of my work. In fact I was so taken with the results I was seeing that I carried out a research project into the differences between telephone and face-to-face counselling. Here’s what some of my clients said:
  • “I wouldn’t have believed I could speak so openly, so soon. I think it was mainly because I didn’t have to look at you, or know you were looking at me.”
  • “I felt much more comfortable having the counselling in my own home. I’d have hated having to go to a counselling centre or doctors’ surgery.”
  • “I found the counselling much easier on the phone. I often felt fat, especially if I’d been bingeing. Because you couldn’t see me, I didn’t feel so ashamed.”
  • “If I’d been at your office I would have imagined you disapproving of how I looked, even if you didn’t.”

If you’re going to look for telephone, video link or online counselling, I strongly suggest you visit the website of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and find someone who’s experienced in working this way. I’d also recommend that you find a counsellor who is comfortable with and competent in working with eating problems.

When I looked for help back in the 1980s, I saw a psychologist who peered at me from behind his desk and told me that I was immature for my age and that my marriage was in trouble. In fact he was probably right, but it didn’t help me to be told so bluntly. I stormed out and never went back. I did get over my problems but would have done so more quickly had I found someone who’d understood and encouraged me to start thawing out my frozen emotions.

I believe that if you find the right sort of counselling, you have a very real chance to start living your life differently.

Julia Bellerby - Counselling, Psychotherapy, Coaching and Counsellor Supervision in York, and worldwide by phone, skype or online

Julia Bellerby
Grad. Dip. Counselling, Cert. Counsellor Supervision, Dip. Coaching, BACP Accredited
Contact me on 07939 255425 or click here to contact me by email.