With the Covid 19 restrictions virtual consultations became essential and the most practical way for therapy without taking the trouble of social distancing, sanitising and masks. Wearing of masks create distance and difficulty in connecting and speaking clearly during the therapy session.
Most prevalent for virtual consultations is, that you can see the therapist you trust, no matter where you are and therapy can happen in the comfort of your own dwelling.
Virtual consultations were already available for the past 15 years. It is very convenient for clients who live outside of PE to safe long driving times and have the benefit of therapy when such service is not available close by. It can extend to therapy across boards for clients in an expatriate situation, when patients prefer a therapist out of their own cultural background and in their home language.
Some patients are hesitant to engage with virtual consultations. They worry about a limitation of connection through the screen and finding each other in the session. This can indeed be an issue, mostly for patients who are not so familiar with the use of such media. But there are ways to work around it and make the session effective and valuable.
I have patients to whom virtual therapy is even less threatening and makes it easier for them to seek psychotherapeutic treatment.
Some of my patients even report that they benefit from the virtual set up because they are less distracted by the environment, it helps them to stay with themselves, have a better focus and experience the session more intensely.
The practical setup for consultations from home is important. You need good data broadband quality to secure an uninterrupted and clear conversation. It is crucial to have a safe space with no interruptions of sound and light or walk-ins during the consultation.
Different time zones can sometimes interfere with the times of a session but this can usually be worked out to suit both the client and the therapist.
Meanwhile virtual therapy has become a good alternative to face to face therapy. Specifically, when it is dearly needed because you are in a foreign country with language or cultural barriers or in lock down during Covid-19 and if it is simply not available where you are or when you want to be treated by the therapist of your choice.
If possible, I personal prefer to see my patients face to face for the first meeting to get to know each other. Further consultations can then be online. It is maybe worth while to give online consultation a try and find out if it works for you. You can always come back to face to face.
I offer virtual therapy in Afrikaans and English.