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Online Psychotherapy: My First Session

Blumengruß Explore (06.02.2013)Last month, you read my post about opting for online psychotherapy sessions.

My therapist abruptly moved to Virginia just before the holiday season, and we decided to try therapy via Skype.

In the last month, I received both positive and negative feedback about online counseling.

A few therapists have suggested against it, which I respect greatly.

In contrast, consumers and family members have regarded it a bit differently.

Like some of my consumer friends, who are also members of Gen Y, I do not immediately see any issues with online counseling.

Why?

Everything I do these days is via Internet.

I earned a few courses of my Bachelor’s Degree through my university’s online programs.

I work online every single day. Without virtual technology, most of my job would not exist.

We socialize online. Everything is centralized around computers.

Online counseling doesn’t seem too unfamiliar from the technology-based life that women my age have grown up with.

The First Session

I finished my first online session with my therapist four days ago.

After a month of no therapy, it was a relief.

To give you a little background, I have been working with my current therapist for about 3 1/2 years.

I have been through an immense amount of growth and change with her through my early 20’s.

Seeing her via Skype was familiar, and even though I anticipated a big difference in the new medium, it was just as if I was in the room with her.

Maybe it is because I have used Skype so many times, but it was still a very connected meeting.

We were able to see each other and hear each other clearly, and interestingly enough, we were now able to see inside each other’s homes.

That was different, yet kind of cool.

Again, we’ve been working together through a lot of life changes. In my time with her, I finished a college degree, bought a house, started a career, and worked through immense times of mental struggle.

She’s grown her practice, had a baby, got married, and now she is starting another chapter of her life  in another state.

Perhaps the lack of physical connection will wear on me eventually, but I don’t necessarily want to put that in my head, as if it is inevitable.

This could work, and we’ll see how it goes.

The Therapeutic Connection

I realized, though, after not seeing her for a month that I do have a fantastic therapeutic relationship with her.

I have inquired about her personal life, but never in depth. I studied counseling briefly in college and know where the ethical boundaries lie. I think this makes me a pretty good client.

But I’m also human, and I recognize when I have a good connection with someone.

She is old enough to command attention and respect, yet young enough to know exactly where I am coming from.

She is the only therapist I have ever felt comfortable with.

I think that is worth the experiment to continue Skype sessions.

We have discussed the possibility of having random face-to-face sessions when she is back in town.

That sounds like a good break in the virtual meetings, but I maintain that I feel that the therapeutic connection is far more important than the medium.

Online therapy is completely satisfactory for me, in my current situation.

I can’t recommend virtual counseling for everyone, just as I would never recommend virtual college classes for every single student.

Some relationships are worth creative consideration.

 

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Online Psychotherapy: My First Session


Kat Dawkins


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APA Reference
Dawkins, K. (2014). Online Psychotherapy: My First Session. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 16, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-life/2014/01/first-session/

 

Last updated: 27 Jan 2014
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