Therapy in lockdown: phone, video call and… introducing… car therapy!

10 weeks ago, life changed for all of us in a way we could never really have imagined. As early as March 16th I made the decision not to continue face to face sessions with my clients.

I have a lovely therapy room. I regard it as my second home. It’s simply but warmly furnished and I like to think of it as a calm and welcoming retreat for my clients where we can meet safely and confidentially and work therapeutically together to help them through the current ‘bump in the road’ of their life.

Spacious, however, is the thing my therapy room is not. It simply isn’t possible to safely social distance within its welcoming four walls.

So, for me, providing face to face therapy will simply not be an option for many weeks, possibly months to come.

Which brought me to consider other ways of working – namely, telephone and video counselling.

If I’m honest, I’ve never been a professional fan of telephone counselling and I’ve never even found the need to use video counselling. Why use these when you can have a face-to-face encounter with all of its presence, energy flow, richness of non-verbal communication and personal warmth?

But with face-to-face therapy not being a safe or possible option, I’ve adapted and so have my clients. Admittedly, not all my clients have taken the plunge, but just over half of them have. We’ve found that phone and video (I mainly use WhatsApp, sometimes Zoom) are nowhere near as alienating as they may sound.

In fact, clients tell me that, in some ways, there can be something comforting about being in their own space while sharing feelings that might be difficult for them to talk about. Some have told me that the screen between myself and them can create just enough distance to provide a safety zone that enables them to talk freely. Their experience is backed up by research that shows that telephone therapy has as much therapeutic value as face-to-face therapy, and in some instances, even more so.

Ultimately, my clients and I are finding that, in the absence of face-to-face sessions, phone or video can be an immensely valuable way for them to receive the help they want to receive.

Car therapy seems to be a particular lockdown favourite – a safe place where clients can phone or video call me and know they can talk freely without the risk of being overheard or interrupted.

Of course, the only way to know if something is right for you is to try it. A half an hour confidential chat on the phone, or by video call, about what you’re looking for from therapy should be enough to give you an idea of whether it’s something you feel comfortable working with. Why not give me a call or drop me a line? I’d love to hear from you.

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