Telephone Counselling

I’ve been helping people to transform their lives for the past 30 years. Through telephone counselling I help them to challenge the beliefs  and behaviours that hold them back, to rewrite their stories, and live life more fully and with less fear. I’ve been providing telephone counselling much of my counselling career, not just during the pandemic. It's how I work.

Scroll down to find out more about the online counselling I provide, and about me and my approach.

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Telephone Counselling

I’ve been providing telephone counselling for 25 years, so working this way is nothing new to me. Unlike many therapists forced into providing counselling by phone or online due to the the pandemic, this is how I normally work. I value telephone counselling as much as face to face, and I know it to be equally effective. 

I began using telephone counselling as manager of a pioneering counselling service (Royal College of Nursing) in the mid-1990’s. We found that telephone counselling was a real alternative to face to face, and that its outcomes were equally effective. Since then, as you'll read below, there’s been much more research supporting this finding. 

Not only is telephone counselling effective, it also offers many benefits over working face to face with a therapist. It overcomes barriers to access that include location and disability. It also gives you access to a wider pool of therapists from which you can choose. Together with working online, which I also offer, telephone counselling is the safest way to access therapy right now. 

Will telephone counselling work for me?

Will telephone counselling work for you? When the pandemic hit, my existing face to face clients switched to working online or by telephone. Despite some having doubts, all made a successful transition.

The best way to find out if it’ll work for you is to get in touch. That way we can talk about the options, and how I might be able to help you. Below you’ll out more about me and how I work. Also, how I know therapy in general, and telephone counselling in particular, is effective.

Common Questions

I work with a wide range of issues that people commonly struggle with. These include anxiety, bereavement and loss, depression, relationships, self-esteem, stress, work related issues and many others. If you’re struggling with something I haven’t mentioned don’t let that stop you getting in touch – there aren’t many issues I haven’t worked with in my time.

I have a particular interest in working with people who might describe themselves as introverted. The needs of introverted children often go unrecognised, which can lead to life feeling more of a struggle that it has to be. This is an area I’ve taken both a personal and professional interest in over the past decade. So, if this describes you, I may be able to help.

I’ve spent 25 years looking into the essence of what makes therapy work. I’ve learned some important things along the way that I bring to my therapy work. I write about these themes for a professional audience, but they also inform how I work to create the best experience of therapy for every client.

The model of therapy I use is known as integrative. This brings together a range of approaches in a coherent framework. It recognises that there is no ‘one size fits all’ in therapy, and that there are benefits to clients when therapists are able to draw on a range of therapeutic approaches.

Every client is unique, and I aim to create a way of working with you that is equally unique and effective for you. The question is not “does this type of therapy work?” but “is this approach working for you right now?”

The approaches that I commonly draw on include person-centred, transactional analysis, solution-focused, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness based approaches. If these labels don’t mean much to you, you can find further detail on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website here.

Research over several decades shows that the average therapy client is better off psychologically than some 80% of people who don’t receive therapy. It also shows that therapists vary considerably in their effectiveness. 

Contrary to what you may have heard there is no evidence that any one type of therapy is better than another for commonly experienced problems. Instead, it’s factors like the quality of the therapeutic relationship, a shared approach to goal setting and working together, and the effectiveness of the individual therapist that make a much bigger difference.

In practice, a lot of therapy provision suffers from high levels of drop out, and a lack of measurable progress. This is not inevitable. To help us avoid this I’ll work with you from the start to create a shared understanding of what you want to achieve, and how we’ll approach helping you get there.

We’ll also carefully monitor your progress to make sure that we’re working in a way that works best for you, and adjust our focus as needed. The process will be no longer than you really need. Most clients I work with average between 8 – 15 sessions.

I was an early adopter of telephone counselling back in the mid 1990’s, when I managed the Royal College of Nursing’s counselling service. Back then there was a commonly held view that therapy by phone wasn’t ‘real’ therapy. That it was, at best, second best. Not only did I and my team disprove that myth; we also showed that the telephone and face to face counselling we delivered had equivalent outcomes.

There’s now a great deal more evidence than there was that therapy conducted online or by phone is as effective as face to face. Also, that important elements of the therapy relationship, like the therapeutic alliance, can be equally strong. I’ve written about these for a professional audience in the blog that I’m a co-founder of called Therapy Meets Numbers.

If you feel that face to face is what you really want, that’s OK. Working phone may not work so well for you. But the clients that I was working with face to face before the pandemic have been surprised how well it’s worked for them since. So, if you’re open to being surprised, I’d be happy to have an initial conversation with you so you can see how we might get on.

You can contact me by phone, by email, or through the contact form on this page. I’ll suggest we have an initial discussion to talk about what’s brought you in touch and what you’re looking for. This is a chance for me to learn about your concerns and how I might help, and for you to find out about me and decide whether you would feel comfortable working with me. I don’t charge for this.

There’s no obligation to take things further, and you don’t have to decide at this stage. If we agree to work together then we can arrange a further session or sessions. These are an hour in length. We’ll work together for as long as you feel you need and are getting a clear benefit than we can both measure.

Our initial discussion is free of charge. If we agree to work together after that my fee per 60 minute session is £50.

At times I am also able to offer concessionary rates, so if cost is an issue for you please let me know. I can accept payment by bank transfer and PayPal.

inage of barry mcinnes

Hi, I'm Barry

I’ve been a therapist and coach for more than 30 years, as well as a therapy service manager. As a kid I was always taking things apart to see how they worked, and I have the same curiosity about what makes therapy work. Everything I’ve learned along the way I bring to my work now, and I also share in a blog with a professional audience. I’m as passionate now, about the power of therapy and coaching to transform lives, as I was when I started.

I live and work between the UK and Spain. With online and telephone therapy where my chair is really isn’t relevant. As many hundreds of clients who I’ve worked with over the years also know, where they are isn’t really relevant either.

Find out more about me >>

Book A Free Consultation

Get in touch and let's talk about what’s brought you in touch and what you’re needing. You'll also get a sense of me and what it might be like to work with me. There’s no cost for this session and no commitment needed from you to take things further. Come back to me only when you’re ready.

How Can I Help?

Please send me a short message with your contact details. I normally aim to respond within one working day. Many thanks!


Registered Member MBACP (Accred)
BACP Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists #014981

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