Opting for Online Psychotherapy Sessions
I emailed her last week letting requesting to delay our session one week until I settled in.
She emailed me back with quite a surprise response:
I am moving to Virginia in a couple of weeks. My husband got a new job, and with the holiday, we have to have the movers come right away. Is there any way you can meet me for a weekend session?
I was stuck between understanding and disappointment—even a sense of loss.
Why did you have to email me about it? Was also I understand you are going through a change and don’t have a lot of time.
I cannot believe she’s leaving balanced Change is inevitable.
I was surprised with how the news tugged at my heart. I have been working with her for three years now—the longest I have ever spent in continuous counseling with one person.
She has known me for years—she knows everything about me. She is a familiar and comfortable face, and I have become used to seeing her twice a month like clockwork.
I finally let someone in, in a therapeutic sense. It doesn’t happen that often, and I don’t want to lose that familiarity and safety.
In my teens and early 20’s, I found most of my therapists to be patronizing and matronly.
Essentially, I do not want to pay to get feedback from a mother figure.
I want to feel validated and understood. That does not happen often outside her office.
We made a compromise, which is both strange and comforting—we will continue to meet on Skype, starting next month, and see how that goes.
I am a techie, and I have worked and studied by Internet for years. I have never experienced therapy like this before, but I am willing to try it. After all, I have a three-year relationship with her. We already have an established rapport, so meeting over the Internet wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Someday, I may decide to opt for face to face, but at this time in my life, when I am young, anxious, and dealing with a lot of stress and change, it makes the most sense to stay with a person who reads me like a book. Having that type of bond with a therapist is more important than whether I am sitting in the room with them.
Online therapy is starting to become more popular. In situations like mine, it may be convenient to continue the relationship through Skype or another form of chat communication.
Perhaps there is a recommended therapist for your condition and you live too far away from his or her office to attend regular sessions.
Online therapy sessions may be beneficial. Find out more about Internet-based therapy here.
There is a lot of buzz about whether in-person, face-to-face therapy is more effective than therapy through a computer screen.
Recent studies have suggested than online therapy is just as effective as traditional environments, if not more so.
Barriers to access, including disabilities, lack of transportation and time, and the popularity and convenience of the Internet makes online therapy ripe for success.
Making the Effort
I am optimistic about my upcoming sessions with my therapist. I am glad we live in an age where we can make this work.
I use the Internet constantly, but I am still skeptical of virtual therapy effectiveness over an extended period.
I get to keep my therapist for the time being, and I think that is worth the experiment.
I can also update all of you on how this innovative counseling is working for me, which will be a great help to others considering this type of treatment.
Have you tried Internet-based or Online Therapy? Has it worked for you? If not, would you consider it?
Dawkins, K. (2013). Opting for Online Psychotherapy Sessions. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 4, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-life/2013/12/online-therapy/