Online or face-to-face therapy

Therapy is all about you. So it makes sense that you should choose the format.

At Bayside, we offer both online sessions and face-to-face sessions. The most important thing is that you choose the format you’re most comfortable with. To help you do that, here’s a rundown of each:

Online therapy – Therapy in the comfort of your own home

In today’s busy world, with fast internet speeds, a laptop in every home, a phone in every pocket and dozens of video chat tools available, online therapy isn’t just possible, it’s the most convenient approach for many patients.

More importantly, it may also be a more effective approach for some.

What we like about online therapy

  1. You can choose the best therapist for your needs, not just the one with a nearby office.
  2. You can receive your psychotherapy, counselling and even hypnotherapy from the comfort of your own home. No travel time, no traffic or parking worries, no public transport woes, no judgmental receptionists or waiting rooms, and no uncomfortable chairs or too-cold air-conditioning.
  3. Many people feel safer talking online than talking in person. Opening up and sharing yourself – which are essential for healing – can be easier online.
  4. You can get therapy even while travelling (e.g. on a stressful business trip).
  5. Online therapy may be easier and less confronting if your needs are linked to physical problems (e.g. surgery, injury, disability, body image issues).
  6. You tend to spend less time on social ‘niceties’ and small talk, and more on resolving your problems.
  7. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a good match for online therapy because it focuses on speech rather than body language.

How it works

It’s as simple as clicking a link. Truly.

STEP 1: You choose the date and time, and book online. Or call reception on 03 9557 9113 to book.

STEP 2: Choose between phone, Skype, Zoom or Doxy*; We simply add you to Skype or send you a link to a Zoom or Doxy meeting. (Note, however, Adam currently only uses Doxy).

STEP 3: When it’s time for your session, you grab a cuppa and click the link to join an online meeting between you and your therapist. You can see and hear them, and they can see and hear you. It’s basically the same as being in a room with them.

STEP 4: You can even send each other text chat messages within the meeting.

STEP 5: When your session’s over, you click to leave the meeting, and you can immediately get back to whatever you were doing before.

*Zoom and Doxy are free and easy-to-use encrypted video conferencing tools that don’t require you to download an app.

We’ve been doing online therapy since 2008

We’re professionally qualified, certified counsellors and psychotherapists, and we’ve been doing online counselling since 2008. (We were even featured in a Sydney Morning Herald article about online counselling in 2015.)

Won’t I lose some of the rapport and connection with my therapist?

This is a subjective assumption not commonly reported at scale. In fact, following telehealth therapy many patients report feeling freer to speak openly via an online medium.

That said, it is absolutely crucial to speak directly with your therapist about your experience as you adapt to the online therapy model, so he or she may address any challenges together with you.

It’s private and confidential

Naturally, we treat all your sessions – online or off – with complete confidentiality. And we only use video conferencing tools that are encrypted and secure.

It’s also important that you ensure you have privacy during your session, by choosing a time when no one else is at home or doing your session in a room where you have complete privacy. You might also want to use headphones during your online therapy sessions so less of your conversation can be overheard by others in your home. (This usually improves audio quality too.)


Please try to select a space in your home that has a good, strong Wifi signal. And turn off all other screens and applications on your device during the call, to reduce disruptions and quality issues.

Other considerations

Remember also that, because it’s a video chat, your therapist will see parts of your home in the background. If you’re not comfortable with this, choose a space with nothing personal in the background. Or choose one of the custom backgrounds from the platform you’re using. (That said, you always have full control over the video camera and can turn it off at any time.)

Finally, you should dress as you would for a face-to-face session. And have a box of tissues and a glass of water close by.

Questions about online therapy?

Call Bayside Psychotherapy on (03) 9557 9113, or use our contact form to ask for more information. Your questions will remain completely confidential, and there’s absolutely no obligation.

Book an online therapy session today

As long as you have a private space, you may benefit from sessions anywhere without having to travel or worry about parking. Book an initial session online or call 03 9557 9113 now.

Face-to-face therapy – When your therapy requires a stronger interpersonal connection

Although online therapy may be just as effective as face-to-face, some people prefer the intimacy and strong interpersonal connection of meeting with their therapist in person.

Most of our therapists offer face-to-face therapy from our brand new clinic at 8/539 Highett Rd, Highett, Victoria.

What we like about face-to-face therapy

To a large extent, it’s about personal preference. Some patients say they feel safer when they’re in the same room with their therapist, that there’s a better emotional connection, and that they can speak more freely.

Some models of therapy may be more effective face-to-face than online (hypnotherapy and couples counselling, for example, can sometimes be more effective in person for some people).

The commitment required for planning, driving, parking and physically meeting with your therapist may, in itself, translate into better results.

After a face-to-face session, you’ll typically have some time and space, as you travel home, to reflect on your learnings, and let them settle. After an online session, on the other hand, you’re more likely to transition immediately back to your usual day-to-day activities (work, family, etc.), so there’s less time for reflection.

How it works

STEP 1: You choose the date and time, and book online. Or call reception on 03 9557 9113 to book.

STEP 2: We email you an intake and consent form.

STEP 3: You complete the online form.

STEP 4: You come to our clinic at the time you booked. There’s no receptionist; the only person you have to speak to is your therapist.

We’ve been doing face-to-face therapy since 2009

We’re professionally qualified, certified counsellors and psychotherapists, and we’ve been doing face-to-face counselling since 2009 as a practice (though some of our therapists haven’t been with us since then).

It’s private and confidential

Naturally, we treat all your sessions – online or off – with complete confidentiality. And our clinic is situated and designed in such a way as to foster privacy and confidentiality.

It may be coupled with online therapy

Depending on your therapist and your reasons for seeking therapy (and, unfortunately, COVID), we may recommend a combination of online and face-to-face therapy. This option may also be the most convenient one for you. Your therapist will discuss such arrangements with you in your initial session if required.

Questions about face-to-face therapy?

Call Bayside Psychotherapy on (03) 9557 9113, or use our contact form for further information. 

Time to start therapy?

Email Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call us

03 9557 9113
Reception phone hours
8:30am – 5:30am
Monday – Friday
(closed on public holidays)

Choose your own date and time for an online or in-clinic session
Therapist Hours

  • Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm
I want an…

Therapists who do online

  • Adam Szmerling
  • Carolina Selvarajoo
  • Humaira Ansari
  • Kelli Tranter
  • Lawrence Akers
  • Natalie Szmerling

Therapists who do in-clinic

  • Adam Szmerling
  • Natalie Szmerling