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Learn to Love Online Therapy

I didn’t use to love online therapy.

I felt overwhelmed by the technological challenges, the intensity of looking at a screen closely for hours in a row, the lack of physical cues and figuring out how to create a therapeutic space for my clients when I was not in the same room as them.

I felt like online and telephone therapy were a necessity, something I had to do in order to maintain my practice. So many people tell me they have been feeling this recently, having switched over to online therapy so quickly due to Covid-19. It has been a shock for many of us to have our lives changed almost overnight by the pandemic, and to be in this unique position of supporting our clients through the very same global trauma that we are living ourselves.

For those people who are feeling overwhelmed, please do not be discouraged.

Making the Switch

I made the switch over ten years ago when I moved abroad. I had a fledgling practice and clients that I didn’t want to give up so I would sit on the kitchen floor of my studio flat on the phone or battling with glitchy internet connections.

I had my fair share of awkward moments and finally my supervisor pointed out that if I didn’t love and respect online and telephone work, my clients wouldn’t benefit either.

He suggested I participate in experiential training.

Experiential learning is what changed everything for me, and I love working online now.

What is Experiential Learning?

To some extent, all learning is experiential in that it is based on experience and observation.

I think of vicarious learning as learning through others, their experiences and observation. Experiential learning for me is about DOING. It is about active participation and collaboration. It is about BEING the client, BEING  the Online Therapist and creating conditions for confidence to develop and BLOOM.

It means being prepared for interruptions like doorbells and pets leaping across the screen. This means having clear, concise practice procedures like a screening script ready for when clients enquire, to see if you are the best therapist for them.

It means having an up to date, GDPR compliant Therapy Contract and guidance sheet to give your clients, and a procedure for coaching them to create a therapeutic space at home, because we normally provide that for them when we work in person.

It means being prepared for emergencies, risk assessment and knowing what to do if your client has a seizure or describes a plan to hurt themselves in session.

And it means practice, practice, practice with colleagues so you will actually be an experienced online therapist and are not testing out your skills on clients.

 

Next Intake July 2020

I am honoured to have been consulted on the content for the Counselling Tutor Online and Telephone Counselling course and invited to create an experiential programme to offer as a progression to therapists who are already working online and want to build their confidence.


This course is not for therapists who need to switch over quickly…

It is for therapists who want to bring more to this craft, who want to excel at working online therapeutically and build deep, healing connections with clients through a congruent belief in the efficacy of this medium.


By the end of the course, you will feel prepared, experienced and confident in being able to deliver excellent therapy online.

You will have an intimate network of like-minded therapists to provide and receive support from.

And on top of that, you will have your contracting paperwork in place.

***Participation in the Facebook group is a major component in finding Practice Partners, however it is possible to participate without Facebook.

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Tamara Howell PGDip, MSc, Reg. MBACP (Accred.)

Welcome to my brand new course, Learn to Love Online Therapy.

I am an integrative psychotherapist based in London and I have been working with my therapy clients online and on the telephone for over 10 years whilst I lived abroad.

I started out feeling resistant but have come to love working online, especially because of the innovative nature and flexibility that it offers.

I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for telehealth with you over the coming weeks and getting to know you and how I can support you in developing a professional self care programme that helps you transform your private practice vision into reality.

Learning Methods

Personal self-paced study platform – Modules released weekly – Video demonstrations of practice exercises – Interviews of practitioners who have learned to LOVE working online – Individual preparation exercises – Partner Practice exercises including role play scenarios – Dedicated Facebook community to build connection and referral network – Regular Live Q & As – Paperwork Guidance

CLARITY | CONGRUENCE | CONFIDENCE

More Information

This course will give you experiential practice so you don’t feel unprepared or insecure. It will help you avoid the pitfall of freezing up, saying the wrong thing, not making eye contact, or being over familiar or too rigid.

When we learned our counselling skills, we all practised in dyads and triads. We all had a chance to practice being a therapist and a client. We had our own therapy and learned what it meant to form a relationship with a therapist and go through contracting, late cancellations and endings. This course will give you an intensive version of this experience, specifically designed for online practice over a six week period.

 

 

The Welcome Module prepares you with a workbook and explains course aims and objectives. We start with organising your workspace, at home, on the telephone and online. Video demonstrations of Zoom privacy settings and photos, a quiz and worksheets will help you feel settled and prepared.

Under the topic of Risk, we focus on screening practice, risk precautions, working with clients abroad, the benefits but also the limitations of working online.

We continue with Contracting, verbally and written. I include all the content from my Therapy Contract writing course here and we will practise explaining terms and conditions to clients.

We will continue with learning about efficacy, groupwork, workshops and other interesting ways of working online by hearing from other practitioners who have adapted their practices to the online environment.

You will do full length practice sessions as a client and as therapist with role play scenarios and feedback with your peers organised in role in your own time so that you are prepared for interruptions, emergencies and Intakes.

We will hear anonymous audio accounts from people who have had online therapy so we can learn how to improve our practices.

In the final module, we will focus on marketing, directory listings, building your referral and contact network and developing your own practice vision.

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