Video and Phone Sessions

In order to maintain zero risk of transmission between us during therapy, I will be staying online, providing only phone and video sessions for the duration of the pandemic. I have been fully online since March 2020, and have found that there are many benefits to online video/phone therapy.

Benefits of Video/Phone Therapy

  • There is no commute to a therapist’s office, and no traffic or public transport delays or risks to deal with (this also potentially means less petrol or public transport costs and less carbon emissions).
  • You can plan therapy more reliably and smoothly, because sessions can still go ahead even if one of us has cold/flu symptoms, or one of us is needing to isolate, is in quarantine, is subject to new restrictions/lockdown, or if you get stuck when trying to cross a border, or because your flight was cancelled.
  • You are in your own space at home so you can be in your comfortable clothes, sitting in a comfortable place, even with your favourite hot drink. If you feel comfortable and safe in therapy, it will likely be more effective.
  • Your pet can be present at your therapy session with you.
  • There are less access issues if you have a physical disability, health issues, pain, or live further away from capital cities.
  • If you have children, you don’t have to figure out childcare because you will be at home, and you could also schedule sessions when your kids are asleep.
  • There is increased privacy because you won’t run into anyone in the waiting room or on the way to therapy.
  • You can see a therapist who you think is the best fit for you, because you can see anyone in Australia, not just a therapist with an office near you.
  • I can keep overhead costs lower, which means that I can keep your session fees lower, and I can schedule fewer sessions each day, which means I can be more present with you.
  • We don’t have to wear masks during therapy. For video sessions, this means that we can see each other’s faces, which can be so helpful in establishing comfort and safety in therapy.
  • You can switch from video to phone sessions at any time if you are experiencing screen fatigue, don’t feel like being seen or aren’t able to be near your screen at that time.
  • You can be 100% assured that there is no possible chain of transmission opened up by you attending therapy, so you don’t have to do any kind of Covid risk calculation around therapy. This can be especially helpful if you have (understandable!) anxiety about Covid, or you fear passing it to someone, or you are in regular contact with or caring for someone who is vulnerable, elderly, or immunocompromised.
  • If you are autistic or have sensory issues, you can control your sensory environment or stim more easily.
  • Working online means that I can offer more varied after hours appointments for your convenience.
  • Research studies* suggest that the working alliance or therapeutic relationship can be just as well established online as face to face, which is the key ingredient in therapy being effective.

If you would like to work together, you are welcome to book online.

Managing the Challenges of Online Therapy

There are also some challenges to online therapy, but since I have been fully online for nearly 2 years, I have found that these can be managed.

  • Privacy or safety can be an issue if you share your home with other people or of your home is unsafe. Some people get around this by scheduling therapy at a different time, or doing phone therapy while going for a walk, or using their phone or laptop with their phone hotspot to do a video session in the car or in another quiet place outside their home.
  • There can be technical issues. To overcome this, I use a dedicated telehealth platform due to its increased security and encryption, but I also use Zoom as a backup platform that we can switch to at any time. If there is a delay due to slow internet, we can also have the screen going, but have the audio coming through the phone so that we eliminate the audio delay (or we can just switch to phone entirely).
  • Some people don’t like the idea of being able to see themselves on the screen during therapy. This is easily fixed as the platforms allow you to hide your view of yourself during the session.

Privacy and Security with Video

To support the security of your personal information I use a platform designed exclusively for telehealth. This platform has true peer-to-peer connection encrypted end-to-end (which means that not even the company facilitating the connection can decrypt the session) and data does not pass through third party servers. The video link that I send you is unique to you, and acts like a key, which we both need in order to access the secure virtual room.  The platform is compliant with the Australian standards for online security and encryption.

*References for Efficacy of Online Therapy:

Norwood, C., Moghaddam, N., Malins, S., & Sabin-Farrell, R. (2018). Working alliance and outcome effectiveness in videoconferencing psychotherapy: a systematic review and non-inferiority meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.

Simpson, S. G., & Reid, C. L. (2014). Therapeutic alliance in videoconferencing psychotherapy: A review. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22(6), 280-299.

If you would like to work together, you are welcome to book online.