Working Online During the Pandemic and Beyond…
I am currently only offering videoconferencing counselling/psychotherapy. Rather sadly, my lovely therapy room in the garden is sitting empty. I believe the room is too small to satisfactorily pass a risk assessment for Covid 19.
What I have continued to experience during the pandemic is that there are gifts in dark places. And that humans have the ability to adapt. I have discovered how satisfactory working from online platforms can be.
My initial response to offering therapy online was that of resistance. Surely it would not be the same, that it would be hard to pick up all the visual clues that come with physically being with someone and we might not feel so connected?
From the moment lockdown started and I knew I needed to continue my work online, necessity became the mother of discovery and I could see that working online really is ok. It is not the same, but the differences are not bad ones. I have experienced levels of deep connection and relational depth with clients and supervisees, and therapy is just as possible. There is a focus and ease that I was not expecting. The worst that has happened is that connectivity with wi-fi can be frustrating – connectivity with the relationship is not the issue.
I am looking forward to sitting with clients and supervisees in my therapy room once again, once the risks from Covid 19 are managed. I will only work online until this point. However, I will continue to offer online therapy beyond the pandemic for those that prefer not to travel and to be able to receive therapy in the comfort of their own home.
Here are some things to consider when working online: –
- I will use providers and electronic platforms that meet the privacy and quality standards for healthcare digital communication.
- I have become familiar with using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime and Whatsapp.
- It is perhaps worth acknowledging that absolute security in a digital world does not exist.
- I shall work from a quiet and confidential room in the house, with the door closed, and any members of my household will be informed not to interrupt. I will also use a headset so that your voice cannot be overheard.
- If you would struggle to find a private, confidential space to meet me are there any other alternatives that could work? Clients have arranged to meet me in different houses, or even gone to their car for the meeting!
- If wi-fi lets us both down, it might be a good idea for us to agree in advance that I call you to continue the session by phone – this is a last resort and, in my experience so far has rarely been needed.