I see clients online (via video conferencing (or telephone) from my private home in Richmond). Please check my availability page for session times.
It is important before embarking with online therapy, to be aware of the pros and cons. A big pro is that you can have your session from the comfort of your own home, but a con is the limitation of not meeting in person and potentially missing visual or auditory cues. Another pro is that clients often find online sessions easier to time manage around their schedules but a con can the inherent risk around confidentiality where technology is involved. I use a secure platform for online work with end-to-end encryption and none of the sessions are recorded.
The main con to working online is that it may effect the quality of the therapeutic alliance (that’s our relationship). Working online isn’t the same as meeting face to face and it’s best to acknowledge that upfront. However I do believe effective work can absolutely be achieved through online sessions.
In terms of the format, online sessions are similar to face to face psychotherapy. We’ll meet at the same time/day every week and sessions last for 50 minutes. In advance of your session, I’ll send you a link to the secure platform (called Zoom). When it’s time for your session, you follow the link, download the Zoom application (for the first session only) and then your session will begin. Contracting will take place via email after your first session and will be discussed in your second session. As with face to face sessions, we’ll have a review on your sixth session to see how you’re feeling about the therapy and whether you’d like to continue. In regards to payment, this is made via bank transfer in advance of each session.
Given the nature of online therapy, you need to ensure you have a laptop/computer with good wifi connectivity and to be in a private, safe and comfortable place for the duration of your session. It’s recommended to turn your mobile off for the session (or at least to have it on silence) and turn notifications off on your laptop/computer.
If for some reason, technology fails us and we are unable to connect for your session, we’ll either arrange another online session as soon as possible or have a telephone session instead. Likewise if you feel more comfortable having sessions via telephone rather than via laptop, then that’s absolutely fine. This is your therapy and it’s important you find a medium in which you feel safe, comfortable and secure.
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash