In 2005 when I was trained by Samaritans to provide emotional support on the Samaritans telephone helpline I developed a special interest in providing telephone support and over the years this has also extended to providing online therapy. Video calling means that the therapist and the client can both see each other.
There are many different methods that can be used to deliver online therapy such as Zoom, Skype and FaceTime. If you would like to have online appointments you can choose a method that you feel comfortable using.
Why do people choose telephone or online appointments?
Some of the common reasons why my clients have chosen to have telephone or online appointments:
- travelling often for work or other commitments
- anxiety that prevents people from coming to my therapy rooms
- people leading busy lives who prefer not to allocate time to travelling to appointments
- mobility issues faced by the elderly or people who have a disability or injury
What are the benefits of telephone or online appointments?
- no transport costs
- convenient – no need to allocate time to travel
- therapy from the familiar surroundings of your own home may help you feel at ease
- research has found that people often find it easier to open up about their true feelings
- telephone appointments enable you to access therapy from anywhere in the country
- online appointments enable you to continue therapy while abroad
Are telephone or online appointments as effective as face to face appointments?
I am experienced in providing therapy via telephone and online platforms with video calling and over the years I have found that telephone appointments and online appointments are equally as effective as face to face appointments.
There is evidence from research that therapy, especially cognitive behavioural therapy, can be effectively delivered online to treat a range of mental health difficulties. Leading medical journal The Lancet has published studies demonstrating that online cognitive behavioural therapy is as effective in treating depression and anxiety as face to face therapy.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge together with the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care and NHS Midlands & East found that cognitive therapy via telephone is as effective as meeting face to face. Their study concluded that providing talking therapy via telephone is effective for people with common mental disorders.
However, while telephone and online appointments are usually very effective for a wide range of issues they are not suitable methods for everybody or every issue. Some people may not feel confident using technology or they may not be able to guarantee that they can access a quiet, private room where they are unlikely to be disturbed at home. If you are experiencing extreme distress or despair face to face support may be a better option for you.
Do you have questions about telephone or online appointments?
If you would like to find out more about telephone or online appointments and whether they may be suitable for you please contact me. I can assess your requirements and explain the different options for therapy to ensure that you receive the type of support that is right for you.