All Skype-to-Skype communication, including Skype voice and video, is encrypted, so Skype video conversations cannot easily be intercepted remotely. However, as mentioned under Skype Chat, it appears that Microsoft does scan Skype text conversations for suspicious links and other content, though it’s not clear whether this also applies to Skype video.
Another security issue is that if someone else (e.g. a husband, partner or manager) has access to your computer, they can install software which secretly records Skype conversations and (in some cases) automatically uploads the recorded files to a web location where they can be remotely accessed. If you are concerned about this, you can (on a Windows computer) go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, and check for installed software with a name something like “Skype Recorder”.
Provided you’re willing to accept these risks, then Skype video can be considered secure enough for counselling purposes. Alternatively you can use other software for video or text chat; please contact me if you wish to consider this. And of course you should always take appropriate steps to protect your own online security, as described on the Skype Security page.
Counselling with Skype video
If you have a reasonably fast and reliable broadband connection, then Skype video can work well for counselling. Of the three forms of online counselling that I offer, it is the most similar to face-to-face counselling. Some counsellors have even suggested that video counselling can enable a stronger sense of connection between therapist and client than in face-to-face counselling.
However, it is also the form of online counselling that makes the most demands on the technology infrastructure, and technical problems and interruptions are not uncommon. If the broadband connection proves too unreliable for video, then it can often be appropriate to switch to Skype chat.
The practical bits
Obviously you’ll need to have Skype installed on your computer, and I’ll ask you to let me know your contact name, so that I can send you an invitation to connect. We then just need to agree a date and time when we’re going to “meet” on Skype, and then when time comes I’ll video-call you.
And if for any reason I’m not able to contact you on Skype at the agreed time, or if the Skype connection breaks down, then I’ll try to contact you by phone. And similarly if for any reason you’re not able to contact me on Skype, then please try to phone me, so that we can fix the problem, either by switching to Skype chat or by rescheduling to another time.