Sessions via Skype/FaceTime/PhoneOver the last few years I have been conducting more and more sessions via Skype, FaceTime, and phone. Most of my new clients are referrals from other healers or from my existing clients. They refer people to me who they think will benefit from working with me, but who sometimes live too far away to come into my office. When I first started doing remote sessions I was doubtful about their efficacy since I was used to working with clients face to face. But my experience with remote therapy in the last few years has eased my doubts and made me a believer that my office couch is not a necessary part of the therapeutic relationship. Even before video-conferencing was available I worked with one long-term client by phone for several months when she moved too far to travel to my office. I was surprised at that time by how deep our sessions went even though we couldn’t see one another. That depth increased dramatically with the advent of videoconferencing methods such as Skype and FaceTime. I can now see my clients’ expressions and subtle non-verbal communications, and they can see mine. I quickly forget that my client isn’t in my office because my client IS in my office…just through the computer or the phone. I have had several clients who have wanted to use video conferencing for a short time because they were going on a trip or they had a temporary work assignment, and many of them have chosen to continue using that option even once they return home. I work with very high-functioning clients and the reality of their busy lives sometimes makes it difficult to carve out the time for the appointment plus the travel time. If we work together remotely they can squeeze in a session from their office during their lunch break because they don’t have to add the extra time to drive to my office and park. They can squeeze in a session during their child’s naptime because they don’t have to schedule a babysitter and drive to my office. There are many reasons that even my local clients might choose to work with me remotely.
There are a few ingredients that I see as necessary in establishing an effective remote therapy experience. They are:
1) the technology
2) privacy
3) focus
Sessions are effective when the internet/phone connection is strong, the client has the privacy to freely express him/herself, and the client is able to focus exclusively on the session. I have had a few experiences where clients have tried to do a session while they are driving. The repeated dropped calls and the lack of focus makes this a poor combination for an effective session. The same goes for sessions where someone is trying to find a private space at work to talk to me. Unless there is a dedicated office, a private conference room, or even a quiet spot in the client’s car to sit and focus, one’s workplace might not make an appropriate setting for an effective remote session. Although I’m a big fan of taking a break from my computer and my phone to be present in my life, I have been amazed by how successful technology has been at creating a remote therapeutic relationship that is just as strong as being in person.
If you have questions about working with me remotely, please ask! And if you know anyone who might benefit from working with me who is anywhere in California, please sent them this article!
Many blessings, as always.Read More Articles