Counselling traditionally brings therapist and client together in the same place, but technology is changing this sacred process. It is now possible fore two people to ‘meet’ over the internet, wherever they are in the world, and without leaving home. This is re-shaping how therapy and opening up a whole new range of possibilites.
I remember the fuss when telephone counselling was first suggested and later adopted by some large organisations. Resistance mostly came from therapists themselves; many were horrified at the prospect.
A big step forward came when Samaritans reported that counselling over the phone was actually making it more likely that some people would get help because it was accessible, low-cost and had some significant advantages over face to face counselling.
Some people, it was reported, were far more likely to pick up the phone than they were to seek out and visit a therapist’s consulting room. When they were asked why they had chosen this form of therapy these e-clients also said that the relative privacy made it possible. They could could spend an hour on the phone in a quiet corner of their homes, without having to explain to family why they needed to go our or where they were going. It also made it easier to attend sessions after a hard day’s work, without the inconvenience of travel, finding a parking space, or worrying about child care.
I have been meeting my clients online via Skype for several years. It’s not a method that suits everybody, but some actually prefer it, and as I travel widely in my training work people often want to follow up with some coaching or therapy and Skype makes this possible.
Technology will never replace personal contact, for sure. What is certain is that people will increasingly use it to open up possibilities by connecting with people they otherwise wouldn’t meet.
More about my Skype sessions for coaching and therapy.