The online psychotherapy services I offer are not so much a different type of therapy, as a different way of providing therapy, so the information on Psychotherapy, ACT, Hypnosis, Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy are all relevant to online therapy too.
I am fully qualified to provide online therapy, having completed a training course with the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. This covered a range of important factors and considerations when working online, including:
- The online relationship; confidentiality, culture and diversity, etc.
- Considerations when working with Hypnosis online.
- Technological implications; online platforms, security, reliability, etc.
- Data protection implications and international standards and requirements.
- Social Media policies.
Requirements for Online sessions:
You’ll need a reliable internet connection, a device with a webcam, and some headphones. A handheld device must be set up in a fixed position, so it’s stable and you’re in clear view of the camera.
You must be in a private space where you can’t be overheard and won’t be interrupted. This is an important responsibility for the therapist in a conventional therapy setting, but must be managed by the client when online. In a shared space you may need to ask others to respect your privacy by listening to music or television in another room.
As far as possible, try to arrange to be in the same location for all your sessions.
Some further considerations:
Comfort: Ideally, select seating that is firm but comfortable, very much as you might find in the therapy room. Posture has an impact on how we feel, how alert we are, etc., so it’s best to avoid lying stretched out on a couch.
Have a glass of water and a box of tissues close to hand, but avoid having snacks or meals; have these before or after your session.
Please dress as you would if attending a session in person. Again, how we dress has an impact on how we feel, so it is best to approach each session just as you would if attending a face-to-face session.
Timing: Try to give yourself a little time before and after the session. This will allow you to be prepared for the work that we’re doing; this tends to happen when travelling to an appointment, even when we’re not aware of it. Also, give yourself time before engaging in another activity that requires your focused attention, perhaps time for a short walk, or to do some gentle stretches.
Interruptions & Distractions: Please turn off any devices not being used for the online session (or use flight mode). Also, quit programs and turn off notifications on the device you’re using for the connection: It can be very distracting to know you’ve just received a message whilst in the middle of a session so it’s best to avoid that possibility.
Psychological Differences: The therapy session is intended to be a safe space in which you can ‘unpack’ difficult thoughts, feelings, memories, urges, etc., and one aspect of this is experienced through the physical space within which the therapy takes place. When leaving, it can feel as though this difficult material is ‘left’ within this safe space. The online session presents quite a different dynamic, which is one reason why it’s preferable to consider the location beforehand, maintain the same location when possible, and to allow time afterwards, perhaps for a short walk outside or a grounding exercise. If you would like any further guidance around this, please do talk to me about it.
At least 24 hours notice is required when rescheduling or cancelling appointments, otherwise the full fee will be payable.
William James Therapy operates under the jurisdiction of the laws of England and Wales.