I’ve always loved people, nature and technology.
When I was really young I had a dream of having a computer to do my homework. I bought the first 8 function calculator. I sold the computers that came out before the IBM.
When I became a therapist 20 years ago I had a dream of having a home in nature and using the internet to see clients all over the world. Specifically there would be a wall sized screen or holograms of the people and myself. Then I thought this might be too impersonal – that I would need to be in the same room with my clients.
Well here we are with Skype, Ichat, oovoo and multi video conferencing websites. I have a part-time counselling practice that is almost wholly online and I have access to an office if someone needs to see me in person.
I’ve seen enough clients now – both new and old – online via Skype that I can say the technology is a great fit for counselling. Skype is confidential and it is as if I am in my client’s space. I see and hear all I need in order to be able to intervene just as well as if I were in the room with them. Clients say there is no difference and are surprised at how comfortable they are and how effective the therapy is. In an interesting twist, a couple of clients have said they are more comfortable saying some things they may not have been able to say had I been in the room with them.
I have even done my two hour Wake Up workshop via Skype and it works perfectly.
We are probably a few years away from wall sized screens and holograms, and I can’t wait to be able to use that technology for online counselling. But for now my computer screen and webcam do a great job of connecting me with my clients all over the world. It’s convenient – particularly when different time zones are involved – and often clients will see that I’m online and send me a chat message on Skype to set up a session. If I’m available, I can work with my client there and then.
I love this mix of people, technology and nature. I love that I can be in my client’s environment, do my work and then walk out of my office and take my little boy to the park.
To learn more about how online counselling with me works, go to my Skype page.