Process of Online Therapy
Beginning Online Therapy is a big step to take. You may have questions. I highlight some common ones here but if you have others please don't hesitate to contact me.
At the outset, it is important to state that while participation in therapy can result in a number of benefits to you, working toward these benefits might feel a little different if you are used to attending sessions in person. Nevertheless, most of what follows is relevant to online or face-to-face psychotherapy.
For example, online therapy may involve remembering or talking about unpleasant events, feelings, or thoughts and this may feel uncomfortable, at least initially. In addition, I may at certain times challenge some of your assumptions or perceptions or propose different ways of looking at, thinking about, or handling situations that can cause you to feel upset, angry, or disappointed. I will always do this holding your interests in mind and with the goals of therapy that we will have previously outlined.
In addition, as together we attempting to work through the issues that brought you to therapy in the first place, such as personal or interpersonal relationships, you may make changes that were not originally envisaged.
Next, there is the issue of time in therapy. Change can sometimes happen quickly, but more often we will need to attend to the issue of how long it will take as the therapy progresses.
Discussion of Treatment Plan
During the first session and throughout the therapeutic process, I will discuss with you my understanding of the problem you have brought to therapy, as well as my suggested treatment plan and therapeutic objectives. If you have any questions I am open to exploration of these, so please do raise any questions or queries you have.
Ending Therapy and Referral
During our initial conversations and in the first few sessions, my expectation is that we will both be assessing whether I am the right therapist for you. Part of my assessment will include your suitability for psychotherapy delivered via technology.
It is rare once we have begun for a change of therapist to be appropriate. However, if this does become necessary, I will offer to provide you with names of other qualified professionals whose services you might prefer.
Of course, you have the right to end your therapy with me at any time but hopefully your ending of therapy with me can be planned and gradual.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All information disclosed within sessions and the written records pertaining to those sessions are confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without your written permission.
Exceptions for where disclosure is required by law are described below.
Most of the provisions explaining Privacy and Confidentiality are explained fully in my Privacy Notice page.
When Disclosure is Required
Some of the circumstances where disclosure is required by the law are:
Confidentiality of Online, Email and Mobile Phone Communication
It is not a regular part of my practice to search for client information online through search engines such as Google or social media sites such as Facebook. Please see my Privacy Notice for further explanation about this.
However, extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via our usual methods (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if I ever resort to such methods, I will discuss it with you when we next meet.
Fees and Cancellation Policy
My current fees are shown on the Getting Started page of this website . Fees are due at the time of your appointment.
Payment for sessions can be made by bank transfer or by credit or debit card. I will send you my bank details and information about debit and credit card payments once we have agreed to schedule an initial consultation appointment.
Since scheduling an appointment involves the reservation of time specifically for you, I ask for a minimum of 48-hours notice when re-scheduling or canceling an appointment. Unless we reach a different agreement, the full fee is due for sessions missed without this notification.
If we are scheduled for an online synchronous chat, audio or video conference and become disconnected, I will maintain contact with you by text message as we try to reconnect. If reconnection is not possible, we can reschedule the session.
Confidentiality and Websites Offering Ratings
You may find my psychotherapy practice on various websites which list businesses or psychotherapy and counselling practices. Some of these sites include forums in which users can rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find my listing on any of these sites, please be assured that my listing is not a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client. Asking for a testimonial from you is unethical practice on my part.
If you do choose to write something on a business review site, please bear in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. You might want to consider creating a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks order to ensure your own privacy and protection.
Limitations Regarding Online Therapy
Distance therapy is a different experience to that offered as in-person (also called face-to-face) sessions
Among the differences in online therapy is the fact of there being a lack of “personal” face-to-face interactions, and a lack of visual and audio cues in the therapy process to which you may have previously come to expect.
It is also important to note that you understand that online therapy is not appropriate if you are experiencing a crisis or having suicidal or homicidal thoughts