During the pandemic a lot of us found that video calls became a core part of our working lives. The socialisation to video calls has meant that more and more people are now considering this as the medium in which they would like to receive therapy.
Positively, the research is there to show that online therapy has been shown to be at least as effective at treating both low mood and anxiety as face to face therapy is (Luo et al (2020), Morriss et al , (2019)). This would make sense too. A big part of therapy is being able to feel comfortable in the therapy room; feeling as though the space is a safe place to talk, and what better place than the comfort of your own home. Furthermore, there a big convenience to having sessions online – less ‘getting ready’, no travel time, no waiting areas’ – meaning the session can take up less time in the day and more time to do other activities. For clients with OCD, I have found that online sessions with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be particularly helpful. Often compulsions occur in the home. Therefore, having sessions at home means we can work directly on the compulsions in the environment in which they occur. Personally, I have found this translates to a faster reduction in compulsions between sessions.
I can’t see face to face appointments disappearing though. It is how many visualise therapy to be. Indeed, even for clients wanting online therapy appointments, I sometimes get asked whether first 1-2 sessions could be face-to-face so that they can meet me in-person. This is certainly something I am happy to offer.
I continue to have a weekly face to face clinic, and although the demand for online sessions means the number of video appointments I offer is greater than it was in 2019, I think going forward they’re both here to stay.
If you have any questions regarding either online sessions or face to face appointments, as always, please do not hesitate to ask.