As a Psychotherapist relatively new to using video-call (remote working) for therapy sessions, which has been advised by the professional body UKCP during the Covid19 pandemic, I have been surprised by the varied response and occasional preference for video-call sessions.
Here are some anonymous responses and thoughts my clients and patients have shared with me:
- It is easier for us all to join on video-call because we do not all have to travel to you which adds time limiting our availability.
- It works out cheaper because we do not have to travel.
- I like being comfortable in my own space at home.
- I like being the only person in the room, it reduces my anxiety.
- I don’t like you constantly looking at me (we agreed for the video to be turned off, leaving just audio on).
- It is distracting being able to see myself (we can change the screen view).
- It feels like more pressure to speak but also less pressure because I can move around more freely.
- I can speak more openly because we are not in the same room.
- It is harder to know when to talk (difficulty reading social and emotional signals).
- It makes it more relaxed which is helpful but can mean people move about more and say more.
- It feels more intense and more focused on me.
- I feel a little bit hidden, which makes it easier to talk.
- We keep losing connection (internet) which is so frustrating.
- More family can join because we are not restricted by time, space and travel.
- I prefer video-call, I would like it to continue this after Covid19.
Do you think you would prefer video-call sessions or face-to-face sessions? In what circumstances would you think video-call could be more helpful or less helpful? Let me know your thoughts, I am always interested to hear from you.
As a Psychotherapist I am almost always going to prefer face-to-face, to be in a room with my clients provides deeper emotional connections, a sense of shared experience and enriches the therapeutic relationships and processes. However, I am pleasantly optimistic that video-call therapy can be useful with qualities that may actually become a preference for some.