I have always like using technology, often spending time using computers and learning about building websites, it was a keen interest of mine. After seeing people in person while working as a therapist for a few years, I could see the way modern technology could revolutionise how people have therapy, after some testing and risk evaluation, I eventually moved my private practice online, ultimately becoming one of the very first therapists to work full time online,
When I first started seeing clients using the internet, some therapists looked down upon me and judged me quite harshly, by some therapists standards I was taking unethical risks and putting people in danger, they could not see the positives, or I suspect sometimes felt threatened by the way technology was bringing new ways of working to the world of therapy. I also suspect some others did not like the way it threatened to reduced their influence, and how it empowers the client, amongst other reasons.
In 2011 I was regularly personally insulted and ridiculed, often called unethical and much worse by other so-called therapists. As a result, I was seen as an unethical quack by some, who thought I was a bad therapist, and I suffered from some hate mail for a short time regarding that opinion
Online therapy is not without its problems, that is true, and if you want to be an online therapist there are more risks to appreciate and allow for, but it also has some very important positive advantages, these advantages have enabled people to have therapy who would not otherwise have been able to do so, I know that without this option, some people would not be alive today. As always, it’s a complex mix of positives and negatives, and therapists should not just buy a computer and do it, it should not be entered into lightly, you do need to understand the differences and possible issues, these can be complex.
I am happy to say that over time, other therapists have seen the advantages, so yes opinion is changing, there are many therapists who understand that although it is not the same as face to face therapy, it is a valuable option, and in my opinion the sound only therapy session can in some cases be far superior to any in person therapy, yes I did say superior.(in some situations)
Today there are people who have experienced online therapy and knowledgeable therapists who know why audio sessions in particular can be so advantageous.
Today I think in general therapists working online are getting more respect, although some therapists still feel threatened by change, and some can’t deal with the lack of control and the way it can dilute their influence, but you cannot turn back the clock. Online therapy is here to stay, love it or hate it will not go away.
Are you a therapist working online?