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  • Lifespace Therapy

The Changing World of Therapy Part 1

When I started training to become a counsellor my assumption was that clients would come to see me in person at the same time every week. Then the world changed.  Covid brought lockdown and changes in working practices and the cost of living crisis has made affording therapy even more difficult at a time when it is needed most.


The way that I practice has also changed too. These days the majority of my clients prefer to see me online, fitting therapy around their busy lives. Even those who do attend in person will sometimes ask to have a session online because it fits better with their schedules or other responsibilities.


For clients who work from home, face-to-face therapy can be an important human connection in a day that is otherwise spent online.  Communication is sometimes easier face-to-face where the client can feel the therapist's empathy and the therapist can get a better sense of how the client is tolerating the work.  Clients sometimes talk about the benefit of the journey to the therapy session as a time when they can prepare or about being able to process the session on the way home.  


Online therapy can make therapy accessible to people who might not otherwise be able to access it.  It makes geographic location less important, allowing clients to continue therapy when they are away on business or if they relocate. And it opens up therapy to people who find it difficult to leave their homes.  Online therapy can also expand the time frame when clients can do therapy, making therapy accessible to people who might not. Sometimes clients fit in a session in their lunch, before work or after they have put the children to bed.  There are also clients who find it easier to work online because it reduces the level of discomfort they feel talking about difficult feelings.  


So which is best - face to face or online therapy?  For me I've been working in the online environment since I first started client work so feel equally at home with both.  It really comes down to client preferences and how therapy fits into their life.  


Yes Kate, much like you my training required client and counsellor to be in the same room. The transition to working online came as a surprise and it was necessary to adapt quickly to a new environment. As a humanistic therapist I advocate and practice fluidity to thinking, and an openness to experience which enabled me to embrace change rather than fear it. I recall we were both very motivated to educate ourselves on the differences and risk factors of moving to remote working.  I particularly enjoy the diversity of working in different environments, it keeps me fresh and alert. 


I entirely agree with the view some clients find it easier to work online although I remain mindful that working remotely creates a separateness which can make it seem less real in the moment. Consequently, supporting clients to pace themselves when revealing information helps to reduce the chances of overwhelm or anxiety they may feel after the session.


The workplace is very different these days with many people choosing hybrid working that requires more online functioning. Equally, the younger generation have spent a higher percentage of their lives learning, working and socialising online and are much more at ease in this environment. We have adapted our approach in response to social changes and client feedback, making it more accessible which feels like a positive change.





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