After 150 students in Brazil, Fernando's and Tata's LIVE online training is now available in English.
How to offer online therapy in times of Corona virus?
Online therapy is more than a video conference
Many psychotherapists think that all you need for an online therapy session is a videocall. In reality, it is quite different. Online therapy requires adequate preparation by both the therapists and the client, knowing the available resources and an openness to novelty and creativity.
Fernando Aguiar, Psychologist and body psychotherapist, tells us that five years ago he used to have a lot of resistance to online sessions. As a body psychotherapist he believed that it was impossible to offer a good session without being in the same room with the client. It took a lot of reflection and preparation before he opened his computer to see clients online. “Online therapy was still a novelty, few people did it and I had never tried it. I had a lot of resistance ”, says Fernando.
In 2015, on an experimental basis, the psychologist started seeing two clients who were traveling and needed therapy. The results were surprising. He says that he even started doing therapy online himself because he wanted to feel what it was like, and that's when he became a huge fan of the modality. He realized that it was possible to connect emotionally with clients, to do body work and to often feel that they were in fact in the same room, even though they were in different cities or countries.
Fernando explains that, more than just getting used to technology, he had to work on his prejudices and resistance to online therapy. This was the key point for his online clinical practice to expand.
The client's resistance to online therapy is the therapist's resistance
Many therapists try to see clients online, but it doesn't work out. The clients don't want it and the therapist is discouraged. Tata de Queiroz, a body psychotherapist who has been working online since 2012, explains that if the therapist is not convinced of the effectiveness and benefits of online therapy, the client will not feel confident and trust the method.
“If you don't believe in online therapy, your client won't either. He/she will notice in the subtlety of your tone of voice and facial expression that you basically disqualify online therapy. Therefore, the client's resistance, in most cases, is the therapist's resistance ”, reveals the psychotherapist.
Tata highlights the importance of seeking adequate supervision and training in order to be qualified for online therapy. "Seeing clients online for the first time brings that same anxiety as when we were interns and we saw clients for the first time in the office, we need support", she explains.
Success in online therapy is the result of knowing the available tools and preparing yourself internally
Tata and Fernando agree that not all clients have a profile for online therapy. There are even cases to which this modality may not be a good choice. The therapist must be aware of the modality's limitation to properly guide his/hers clients and provide a good quality service.
The therapist needs to know and feel comfortable with technology, the peculiarities of online therapy, the possible failures on the internet, the client's difficulties and so on.
Both therapists are unanimous in stating that, “with proper preparation, everyone can see clients online and offer a service as good, or even better, than what happens in the office”. In times of a corona virus, online therapy will be an increasing need.
87% of participants acknowledge that the workshop has helped them a lot
Detailed course program
Resistance to online therapy
Different platforms, pros and cons: skype, zoom, hangouts, whatsapp, FB messenger, Webex.
Encryption and security.
Internet quality and use of network cable.
Advantages and disadvantages of online therapy and differences from offline therapy.
Preparing the client
Therapeutic setting at the client's home;
Configuring the technology;
What arguments do you use with your customers?
What text do you build to invite your client?
Preparing your therapeutic setting
Pros and cons of mobile, tablet and computer;
Audio and video quality;
Positioning the camera;
How to start the session;
Guide the customer about the differences in relation to the offline session.
Specific items of the therapeutic contract.
Working the body in the session.
Challenges and how to overcome them;
The resources available;
Dangers and safety strategies;
Extra possibilities that online therapy offers
Ending a session
Welcome to the Online Therapy training course
Where is your resistence?
Working with the body
Using music and group work
Questions & answers + the end