Skype™ Therapist Martin Cox answers some of the most common questions we receive at Achieving Balance, the Harley Street therapy practice, about Skype™ Therapy.
What is online therapy via Skype™?
At Achieving Balance, Skype™ Therapy refers to online therapy, online counselling, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy online (CBT therapy), in which the online therapist and the client are in different locations, but are connected by a video link. Besides Skype™, there are alternatives such as Google Hangouts™ and Facetime® (for users of Apple® devices).
What kinds of difficulties can Skype™ Therapy help with?
Online therapy via Skype™ can be used as an adjunct to, or instead of, face-to-face counselling or CBT therapy, so it can help with the same kinds of issues. These include: anxiety, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, agoraphobia, health anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, generalised anxiety disorder (worry), anger, depression, habit breaking, relationship issues (individuals or couples), lack of confidence, low self-esteem, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and personal development and coaching. This is not an exhaustive list – please feel free to contact Martin to discuss any other issues.
What is not suitable for Skype™ Therapy?
Like face-to-face therapies, online psychotherapy, online counselling, and online cognitive behavioral therapy via Skype™ are not emergency or crisis services. All appointments are by prior arrangement. If you are in crisis or are at risk for harm, speak to your GP or go to your local Accident and Emergency department for immediate crisis support services.
Why would I choose Skype™ Therapy over face-to-face therapy?
Martin considers face-to-face therapy to be the most effective in most cases. However, this might not always be feasible. There a number of reasons that people may choose Skype™ Therapy instead. These include:
- Schedule Restrictions: Clients who travel frequently, perhaps for work, may find it difficult to attend regular face-to-face sessions.
- Travel or Disability Concerns: Some clients have difficulties accessing face-to-face therapy because of travel difficulties and/or disability. For example, you might live far from your preferred therapist, or you might have a disability which would make transport or access difficult.
- Psychological Factors: Other clients have difficulty attending face-to-therapy due to the very issues for which they seek therapy. For example, you may be experiencing debilitating depression, social anxiety or agoraphobia. In these cases, therapy may be started via Skype™, with attendance at face-to-face sessions set as a therapeutic goal.
- Comfort and Convenience: Some clients simply prefer to access therapy from the comfort of their own surroundings, perhaps saving them the cost of travel and/or child care fees.
- Practical Considerations: Cognitive behavioural therapy online via Skype™ also allows for the sharing of online documents such as logs and formulations.
- Recording: Online therapy sessions can be recorded for future reference.
There are many online therapy sites. How do I choose the right online therapist?
Please check out my Skype™ web page for more details about choosing an online therapist.
What equipment do I need to have Skype™ Therapy?
You will require:
- A PC (desktop or laptop), MacBook®, tablet, or smartphone. The latest minimum specifications required for Skype™ can be found here.
- Whichever device you choose, it must have a forward facing camera and either a built-in speaker and microphone, or headphones/earphones with a microphone.
- You will also need a reasonably fast and reliable internet connection (via an Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G) – minimum bandwidth specifications required for Skype™ can be found here.
- Finally, you will need the appropriate software (or app) loaded. Downloads are available for Skype™ and Google Hangouts™. Apps are available via mobile devices from the App Store® (Apple® devices) and Google Play™ (for Android™ devices). Facetime® is usually loaded onto Apple® mobile devices as standard.
- If you have any questions about working with a therapist online, or anything else in relation to the Achieving Balance therapy practice, please contact online therapist Martin Cox, who will be happy to discuss these with you.M/li>