This is an honest review based on my personal experience as an online therapist, with ten years of experience providing online therapy.
Having therapy online using video is one way people can access help and support, which was once all but impossible. Only voice therapy sessions were readily accessible in the past, often due to poor connection speed.
Now with faster connection speeds, more available having therapy with video is very common. These days, help and support using video are available online for life-changing and traumatic experiences, from sexual abuse, rape, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
When two people are physically present in the same room, sitting next to each other, engaging in the therapy process. This is often referred to as face-to-face therapy and has been the foundational way therapy has been provided for many years.
Video therapy sessions should not be seen as the same experience. In my opinion, it should be seen as a separate entity, very different from the traditional way of having therapy.
However, there may be some similarity between the two, in that both client and therapist can see and hear each other. But there are also both obvious and hidden Indirect differences to take into account.
For instance, when two people are present in the same room. Their mere physical presence can change the room’s ambience and introduce normally unnoticed psychological influences like smell. This could have quite an important although seemingly subtle emotional impact.
So, we need to understand that there may be some limitations. These limitations could, in some instances, reduce the effectiveness of therapy when using video for some people, especially for someone who prefers the traditional way of having therapy. But is unable to find a suitable therapist or service near them, so they decide to try online therapy.
This can introduce extra stressors and create more anxiety. In turn, this may not be in the clients’ best interest and could make therapy more challenging. That’s why a free session can help you find out if it is suitable for you or if you can adapt to the new way of having therapy.
Frequently, I find that people who request online therapy sessions using video are usually well versed in talking online with video. Either with a computer or laptop or while using their mobile phones or tablets.
The familiarity they have taken with friends, family and co-workers, using this method of communication, helps them engage in the online therapy process. Very often without much of an issue.
If using video is effective, it will depend on how it is received by the person involved. It’s probably going to depend on some factors, starting with how familiar the person is using the technology.
If they are comfortable sitting In front of a webcam, not everyone can feel relaxed, when using video for therapy, some may feel very self-conscious and exposed when sitting in front of a camera, or perhaps it’s just not as good for them as the normal traditional way of having therapy, so it’s not going to be appropriate for everyone.
If you’re thinking about using video to access online therapy, you will need to try it to find out if it works for you.
It is possible for someone to feel uncomfortable when they first start having video sessions and adapt over time to the video experience. Eventually, they find that in the end, it becomes a positive experience overall.
Obviously, you will need a device that has a camera. Many laptops, tablets and most phones have built-in cameras that can record or send video over the internet. If your computer does not have a camera, you will have to buy one. There is no need to get the best, and a 720-megapixel webcam will work fine. You can normally get them for about £30.00.
Do not forget that sound is also important. I always recommend using a headset or earbuds for confidentiality, and headsets are also very reasonably priced; you don’t need the best. The high-quality cameras and headsets you can buy can be costly but unnecessary for online therapy.