Why Skype therapy and other techno / video approaches fail to provide clients with solutions to their problems
The technological revolution has changed our lives in so many ways we now take for granted. Instant communication and answers to everything are there at a press of a button, a google search or 'ask Alexa'. To cope with the struggling finances of the NHS our GP's are now looking at 'consulting' with patients via Skype - up to 30,000,000 a year! Some therapists and counsellors have beaten them to it and are now offering to deal with clients emotional and psychological problems via video link, or 'Skype' as it's called.
At Therapy Retreats we are constantly asked if we offer this service. The answer is a resounding 'NO'. The reason for this is not that we are not interested in the financial and comfort benefits of sitting at home and talking to clients from a warm office, but that research shows that it often fails to deliver a resolution to the clients problems. We are more concerned that what we do has a positive effect.
As a 'listening ear' or as a way of getting something off your chest, it may well be beneficial to talk to someone over the internet. However, effective therapy involves not only talking to a person but seeing them face to face, assessing their emotional responses, picking up on subtle clues (especially where a couple are involved and there is much interplay between them), establishing a rapport and a relationship of trust which comes over the time it takes to get to know each other. A Skype approach fails in so many ways to achieve these requirements for effective change in clients mindsets, thoughts and behaviours. There is also the question of committment. It is easy to stay at home and chat to a screen which you can switch off any time you dont like a question or feel the therapist is not seeing things your way - a common reaction in couple counselling.
Like sitting down in front of your doctor, there are some things that technology simply can't replace. The resolution of personal and emotional issues is one of them.