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Online Therapy

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In 2020 when the Coronavirus Pandemic was suddenly upon us, all therapists had to work online, regardless of their prior experience.

 

I took this opportunity to re-train and undertook a four-month programme of learning with The Academy for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy to become accredited with ACTO, the Association of Counselling and Therapy Online.

The online formats I use with clients are:

 

Video (Zoom)

Zoom offers the opportunity to work with video as well as voice and text as needed. While the image is limited, we only see head and shoulders, it does offer visual cues and this can be important for some clients.  

 

Voice (Zoom or telephone)

Working by voice alone can lead to a deep rapport and concentrated listening that I have found offers the capacity for meaningful presence and attention together. I have found this to be a powerful medium, particularly for clients for whom video or in person work would be challenging.

 

Live chat (Zoom)

Prior to my training, the idea of working over chat with no voice or video seemed very odd, I took some persuading that it was possible. However, sometimes find writing more accessible than speaking, and people are not in a position to talk out loud about their troubles. In these scenarios, live chat is a way of working that can be impactful. It’s quite meditative to write your thoughts and then pause waiting for a response, and then to read, reflect and respond. I find this an enriching way to work for the right client in the right circumstances.

 

Email

Finally, email provides a way to work that is asynchronous, meaning the two parties are not working on it at the same time. In this format I generally send some prompt questions, and also encourage people to express themselves however they wish. I then take 48 hours to read, reflect and respond, sending an email back to the client. This then triggers their next week’s email, or feeds into their next session if we have used email between sessions.  Again, it was a nice surprise for me to realise how effective this way of working can be, it is very different to in person therapy, and is sometimes just what is needed.

 

All of these approaches are available to blend into in person therapy, and as stand alone approaches. To find out more, get in touch

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