In choosing a therapist, a lot of things come to mind, and one of those is their location or absence of it. Although, this is not a factor that is immediately considered, it is certainly an important component. For example, certain psychologist’s directories offer a location search, since it makes sense not to travel for 4 hours to reach your therapist’s office. The location must suit both your routine and capabilities for travel. With the rise of modern technologies more options for therapy are on offer. Now people can choose online therapy. Online therapy is referred to as e-therapy, teletherapy or tele-therapy, online therapy, video therapy. All the terms mean the same exact thing. Rather than physically attending a session in a psychologist’s office, you can use any device connected to the internet to connect with your therapist. Essentially it can be understood as simply sitting on your own furniture rather than in a therapist’s office.
Online therapy works as face to face therapy, and online sessions might be completed using video or voice calls. In my own practice, I offer clients e-therapy. My clients are free to decide whether they want their video on, and which platform they prefer using. The only factor ruling out a client’s preference regarding their platform of choice is if the privacy and confidentiality component of being in therapy is compromised. To check this, I research the preferred platform, with respect to their privacy and data protection policies and feedback my findings to clients.
Tele-therapy takes away the need to travel to my office. This allows clients to reach me regardless of our geographical location, fit therapy with more ease into their existing day to day routine and pay less since the price of online sessions reflects the lower costs of not renting an office space.
From my experience in offering and using internet-based sessions, there are only certain things that might impact the quality of the session:
- Protect some space to reflect before your session: It’s easier to fall in the trap of not reflecting prior to a scheduled session. If you were to travel to your therapist’s office, you would at least spend half an hour thinking about your upcoming session on your way there. Reflecting on what you want to spend your session exploring is essential, as you set the focus of your session.
- Create a protected and private space for therapy: When doing e-therapy from the comfort of your own space, you might be susceptible to more distractions. If you have children planning for a quiet and private space for 50 minutes is even more complicated. Although you might be unable to act in order to deal with all your distractions, when they do occur, they will certainly create thoughts that will shift your focus of attention from what is being talking about in therapy. Even if temporarily, you are losing time. The same goes for phone calls, doorbells, parcels being delivered etc. Think of such obstacles and come up with a plan beforehand. Have a chat with your therapist, maybe they have useful tips from helping others.
- Internet basics: check your internet speed, if possible and necessary connect with an Ethernet cable. Typically, most broadbands can support video calling, if they are not overcrowded with devices and users.
- Payment done online: This can be done through a direct bank transfer or by using other online payment systems i.e. PayPal, Revolut, TransferWise etc. If you are unsure of how to use them, then I can guide you in setting things up.