Since lockdown the world has had to work differently. My counselling effectively ended abrubtly. Although I discussed with clients the idea of meeting virtually, most clients stated that they didn’t feel comfortable. It became such a sudden shift for therapists on the whole. I, like many enrolled in a course that helped me look at how I could still offer an effective practice online, suddenly the whole world of training and cpd moved online.
There is something facinating meeting a client online. I’m aware I am being invited into their home, as they are invited into mine. This has been the basis of my practice since lockdown. Learning how to build and develop the right conditions in order to facilitate virtual space. It would be wrong of me to say that this has been an easy transition to the virtual room. There seems to be less opportunity to prepare for me, and also for clients. Reporting that the journey and effort to get to the therapeutic room, and the journey home is lacking in the virtual space as the screen fades to black at the end of the session and the client is suddenly back home. The opportunity to reflect and process now lost.
Although this learning and this opportunity has broadened therapy and brought it into the 21st century and raised the profile of different electronic platforms, a thoughful approach to GDPR and a consideration of words and how we engage with our clients in a different way.
It is interesting that that a client stated that they would like online counselling to be their final session, and yet another felt that meeting for the first time online was beneficial now they had moves as it was not a loss now that they could carry on.
Combining the new learning alongside previous training and a reality that online was the only way in order to continue has allowed both clients and therapists such as myself to realise that worlds apart, people are still able to come together and explore the self at a deeper level.
As the country raises it’s restrictions, there is beginning to be movement back from the online world and into the therapeutic room following social distancing and handwashing facilities. I guess the question of whether we will all move back to the theraputic room, or will we continue to explore this cyber room? As technology advances and the access to therapy can now be more flexible and more cost effective with overheads such as room rental may help the service more affodable and accessible, we will continue to see changes and developments. A more blended approach to how we engage in help and realise that regardless of the therapeutic model or physical versus virtual space.