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WORKING ONLINE

Being online might feel like a new, and even strange way to engage with psychological assessment and therapy, but research suggests that it is as effective, and in some cases more effective than face to face therapy.

Working online means that I can still offer a full range of services in a safe and effective manner to a global audience, and I have clients all across the U.K. and in many different countries.  I fully understand that not everyone is used to, or comfortable with being in an online call and that is why I have prepared the following information that might answer some of the questions that you have, and to offer an insight into what you might expect.  I am more than happy to discuss further with you.

Can anyone else here or see me? Absolutely not. I work in a self-contained office and ensure when we are on a call that privacy screens are down so no-one can see my screen.  In addition I use earphones on the call so that no-one could hear what you are saying.

Will my sessions be recorded? I do not routinely record sessions and would ask permission if there was any reason to record e.g.: perhaps you might want a copy to look back on the session.  I strictly forbid recordings of our sessions without permission.

Can I keep my camera off?  I sometimes offer initial sessions with your camera off if you feel uncomfortable to start with, but I always hope to work towards us both being able to see each other.  Some people don’t like seeing themselves on screen and there are options to overcome this that we can talk about.

How will we feel connected?  I am trained to work on building a therapeutic relationship even virtually, and we can talk about that as we go along.  I have now been working online for about two years and work really hard to make it a good experience for you.

What happens if we lose connection?  Sometimes the connection might not be very good and we may have to ‘refresh’ the screen or repeat ourselves. If connection is dropped we can try to reconnect.  I always allow time for setting up of the connection – further details can be provided. 

What do I do if I want to leave the call?  You can end the call whenever you want and for whatever reason.  We can agree what we will do if this happens. 

Can someone else be in the call with me?  If you would like someone else in the initial assessment this is ok but therapy sessions would normally be done alone.  Therefore it is important that you are able to find a space that you feel is comfortable and private.

What if my phone rings or someone knocks on the door?  Don’t panic, these things happen and we can negotiate what you want to do if this happens.

I have a dog / cat / pet that might bark or make a noise how to I stop this?  You don’t have to.  Animals are part of our life and the last thing I would want is for you to worry about your beloved pets during our sessions.  Some people find it reassuring to have their pets in with them during sessions. 

Will it feel strange after the call?  Maybe.  We might have talked about intense and emotive things during our call but I will always do my best to end the session when you are grounded and safe.  During our initial assessment we will form a safety plan of how you keep yourself safe.  It might help to go for a walk, have a cup of coffee, watch your favourite TV programme, or even get straight back to work.  Its whatever works for you.

What if I pay for an assessment and I really don’t like it?  I am happy to offer a full refund if you decide within the first ten minutes that being online doesn’t work for you.  After that time the session would be non-refundable, but you would be free to not book further sessions.  So far I have been able to work with my clients to overcome initial fears and worked with everyone that made the initial booking so hopefully I could make it work for you too.  

Where will we be when the session takes place?  I am happy to carry out sessions whilst you are anywhere in the world with the exceptions of the Unites States, Canada and sanctioned states.  If you travel to the Unites States, Canada or any sanctioned state, I will not be able to conduct our sessions due to insurance cover being voided in these locations.  Please note: if you fail to tell me that you are in the United States, Canada or a sanctioned state then you forfeit the right to the terms set out and the contract between us would be null and void.

Please note that I might sometimes travel due to work or teaching commitments, and might be in a country other than within the United Kingdom when our session takes place.  This is covered within my professional insurance policies, and I use the same encrypted networks to engage in assessments or therapy to ensure your confidentiality.  Please see my GDPR statement.

What are the potential advantages?

  • It is safe from an infection, infection policy and privacy perspective. 

  • During the pandemic it has become really hard to manage all the requirements around working face to face.  This would have also increased fees dramatically due to the increase in costs of PPE and safe working practices.  Working virtually keeps you safe and keeps costs down.

  • The rising energy costs are making face to face therapy unsustainable for many clinicians who use therapy rooms, and this allows therapy to continue and costs to be kept down.

  • You won't have to wear a mask.

  • You can just log on and off so the time for the session is all the time you need to take out of your day.  You can have a session from anywhere that is private and quiet.  You could even have a session at work during a lunchbreak or from a place other than your home. 

  • Some clients like to have sessions when they have an important event so they can prepare and practice techniques / skills in real life.  You can take your therapy and therapist with you, if needed.

  • You don’t have to drive or travel to the session and there is no issue with parking!

  • You won’t have to sit in a waiting room ahead of your session.

  • It will be a private space and we can arrange an appointment time to suit you.

  • Some people tell me it helps having a virtual session as it feels emotionally safer for them.

What are the potential disadvantages?

  • It might not feel as ‘personal’ to start with.  Some people feel they want to be in the same room to form a connection.  That’s why I would say try it and I offer the ten-minute money back guarantee.

  • You might get interrupted (a door knock or a dog barking or someone walking in).  This is why part of the process is to prepare for these eventualities.

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