Online Therapy In the Time of Corvid-19 (and beyond!)

What is online therapy?

For many years, traditional Counselling and Psychotherapy took place face to face.

However, for some years now, technological advances have allowed have allowed new forms of therapy to emerge.  Technology has led to working with clients over video, telephone, email and instant chat.  This form of therapy is sometimes called online therapy, sometimes e-therapy, sometimes teletherapy.

North America has led the way in the rise of online therapy.  There are potentially many reasons for this. One of them could be because of the distances involved in North America.  Therefore, in the present day, there are thousands and thousands of people who receive their therapy purely online.

I offer online therapy via video, email and chat.

But does online therapy actually work?

Working online requires slightly different skills to working face to face.  I have trained in Online Therapy from Level 1 to Advanced with a wonderful training organisation.  Based in Canada, this organisation is widely recognised as one of the world leaders in online therapy.

At first, I was sceptical. [looking over to you to see if you are too] I wondered how this could possibly work?  But actually it works really, really well!

Where is the evidence?

Following are some links to articles from respected medical journals.  Research suggests that because people are generally in their own home, they feel more relaxed when having therapy.  Also, because people are removed from their therapist, they feel more able to disclose things that they wouldn’t usually disclose in person.  This can enable the therapy to become more intense and may work at a quicker timeframe than otherwise possible.  Ever disclosed something on personal media that you would never say in person? This phenomenon has been noticed so many times that it now has a name: the Online Disinhibition Effect.  It appears that doing things online disinhibits us and this can work in therapy too.

Research shows e-therapy more effective than in person

The_Online_Disinhibition_Effect

Why could online therapy work for you?

  1. You need to stay at home because of Corvid-19 or some other health issue.  Video therapy may be perfect for you.
  2. Your shift patterns mean that you can’t access therapy at the time you need it.  But you could write down all your feelings at 10pm or 3am.  This would be perfect for email therapy.
  3. Getting out of the house for set times can be difficult as you have young children or childcare problems. Video or chat therapy would be great for this!
  4. You don’t have access to a car and public transport doesn’t easily take you to your sessions.  With online therapy, you don’t have to battle with the bus or tram.  Video therapy may be perfect for you.
  5. Time is tight for you.  You can manage an hour in the session but the thought of the commute is a bit too much…Video therapy may be perfect for you.
  6. The thought of staring someone in the eye and telling them your deep, darkest feelings…nope.  But writing them down?  Yeah, you could do that.  Email or chat therapy may be perfect for you.
  7. You want something where you can really think about what you want to say before you say it. In email therapy, we exchange a conversation back and forth but it doesn’t take place in real time.  In email therapy, I encourage you to take your time; read what I have said as many times as you can. Take your time to write back: edit and delete as many times as you like before pressing send.
  8. You want something that is as close to face to face as possible.  But you can’t do video therapy. Chat therapy may work very well for you.  It has that instant to and fro and just like email therapy, you get to keep a copy of what we’ve discussed so you can read it again and again.
  9. You struggle to remember what’s been said in your sessions.  You know you feel better, but you don’t know why.  Email or chat therapy may help you as you can read what we’ve discussed as many times as you like.

Is online therapy for everyone?

Sadly, the answer to this has to be no.

Online therapy is not suitable for you if:

  1. You are suicidal, in serious danger of harm or are harming another.  In this case, face to face help by the relevant agencies and face to face therapy is urgently needed.  Please do not wait.  Seek help now.
  2. In the situation immediately above, seek help from your GP, dial 999 or use a walk-in centre.  Please do not wait.
  3. You do not have a reliable internet connection.  A reliable and stable internet connection is essential for online therapy.
  4. There is no privacy where you sit to access online therapy.  It is essential that when you use online therapy that nobody else can see you talk or type.  In this situation, face to face may be better for you.

What different kinds of online therapy do I provide?

Video

Are you able to talk freely without any fear of interruption? If yes, then video therapy may be perfect for you.  It’s very similar to face to face but you could be on the other side of the world!

Email

With email you can write down all your thoughts and feelings and have up to a week to think about it, editing it as often as you’d like.  You also get to keep a record of everything that you’ve said and I’ve said.  You can submit your sessions whenever you like within that week.

Chat

Chat takes place in real time.  So you type what’s going on for you and I respond.  We might use the whiteboard to illustrate things or screen sharing to share articles.  If you want something in real time but don’t want to be overheard or anyone to know what you’re doing, then this may be for you.  And you get to keep a record of what we’ve discussed.

Is Online Therapy Safe?

Nobody can guarantee safety, of course.  However, I use a VPN (Virtual Privacy Network) whenever I do any client work.

What is a VPN and how does it work?

I use Zoom, which is encrypted.  I also ensure that each session has it’s own password and meeting I.D.

What is encryption and how does it work?

Intrigued?

No obligation….contact me on 07910 72 72 80 for a free telephone consultation or email me at info@samanthahillyertherapies.co.uk