Adrian Holmes is a professional counsellor and the managing director of counsellingathome.com – online counselling services. Adrian’s business was created to fill a huge gap in the Australian counselling industry – an online platform where clients receive help face-to-face. His online business counsellingathome.com was designed to offer its clients a professional, secure and convenient online service.
Adrian has been counselling for over seven years. After having a great personal experience with counselling, he developed a real passion for the practice and decided to take it up himself.
I got started with counselling due to a personal change in my life and I just decided that it was what I wanted to do. I was always committed to personal development and change. I was also really passionate about eliminating the taboo around counselling in Australia.
Adrian believes that in Australia, there is a stigma around counselling which he feels deters many people.
In Australia, it’s not something that people openly talk about. I think people see it as a last resort kind of thing and I feel like it should be one of the first things that you do. I see it as such a great thing that you can have an independent, non-judgemental third party that you can go to and explore what’s going on in your life and find the change you’re looking for. It’s very motivating, it’s something that I hope to enable more people to access in the future. The way I can help change this stigma is by making it more accessible to everyone on an online platform, for the privacy and comfort of your own home.
He felt he was able to reach more people without losing the intimacy of face-to-face consultations.
The idea came about from running my own private practice. I was really struggling with the fact that clients had to come to a physical location because it was quite challenging for most of the clients I was seeing. Whether it be because of traffic or work or kids or just life in general – the cancellation rate was quite high. Also, people increasingly look to the internet for access to different services and I was very struck by the fact that there was nothing available online in Australia where people could access online counselling help face-to-face.
Adrian’s business really began to evolve once he took his practice online.
I now have a team of 10 and we’re constantly growing. Many of the counsellors actually sought out the website themselves and were very excited to get involved with it. That’s changed our business model a bit – it’s gone from that traditional counselling practice to an online hub, with constructed specialist counsellors each requiring administration, support and marketing in order for them to each have an online presence.
Being in the counselling business has been an extremely positive experience for Adrian and has furthered his passion for the industry.
I absolutely love having conversations with people and seeing how quickly the change happens. I know it’s a bit of a cliche but it is quite an honor to be with them on that journey and to have them trust you with that. But honestly, I meet people everyday that make me appreciate the work I do. The counsellors inspire me – but most definitely the clients. It’s amazing to see them in really difficult situations and think “man, I don’t know how I would deal with that” and yet they are; they find ways to do it and become stronger for it. Certainly, there are people I meet everyday that make me appreciate it. I wouldn’t do it otherwise.
Adrian has been operating online, offering counselling services for over three years but struggled with other platforms.
I’ve had an online counselling presence for about 3 years now – just using Skype and other services. But that was a big motivation for putting the website together; because I felt like skype was a little bit like having a practice but no premises – like inviting them to a cafe to meet rather than an office. I also wanted something more secure, something that was a little bit more of an all-in-one structure.
Something where you could go to the website, book your session, find your counsellor, make your payment and have your session all within the same secure platform. I personally feel much more comfortable offering my services to people when it’s in a more secure platform. Yondo has certainly been able to help with that. Working alongside Yondo has meant that I can tweak the system to be able to have it totally secure for the clients.
Adrian has been extremely satisfied with how much Yondo has improved the quality of his services
The video technology I would say is faultless. It works really well, it’s all in-browser so you don’t have to download a special app – you just click on the email link – it opens up a new tab and off you go. I’ve had multiple sessions with it and found it works really well with people who may not feel comfortable with technology; it just works seamlessly.
As a manager, I find that every time I need to do something on the Yondo platform, I can do it myself without being an expert web developer. I find that with Yondo all the templates and branding elements that they offer make my life so much easier. I just find it all works really smoothly and I love that with each question I ask, the answer is usually much simpler than I thought it was going to be.
Looking ahead, Adrian is exceedingly optimistic about the future for counsellingathome.com
I think the sky’s the limit. I think this is the future of counselling. I think people will increasingly be able to access the help they need as easily as possible. I think that given the popularity of the internet as well as other online video platforms – I think this is how people are getting used to communicating. I’d like to become a big service in Australia. I want to put on more counsellors, to provide more of a choice, more availability and to become more of a hub for counsellors to have an online presence. And for clients to be able to access a lot of high quality, highly qualified professional services.
I want to continue to improve the website and I see working with Yondo as a real partner in that journey. You need to work with organizations and people that really complement your idea for the future. Yondo has surpassed expectations so far. It’s been easy to implement changes to my webinars or live one-to-one sessions. I really see a future between counsellingathome and Yondo working as partners.