Feeling connected in online therapy
Online therapy is one of the new talking points that the pandemic has introduced into our lives. Here, despite the therapist and the patient being in separate physical locations, they are nonetheless able to benefit from the wonders of therapy via a remote connection. But the truth is that online therapy was not invented in response to COVID-19 and is not expected to disappear with it when the pandemic passes. It is a common and accepted therapeutic method which I have employed with numerous patients since long before COVID.
Who is it for?
Put simply, this type of therapy is suited to anyone who prefers it or who has no other alternative, whether because of mobility restrictions or because of distance. Some people may only feel completely at ease in their homes, while others seek dedicated treatment for a specific issue that I specialize in, but live far away or in another country.
Throughout the extensive period in which I have been offering online treatment, I have found ways to establish a genuine sense of closeness and trust, building a meaningful and effective relationship with my patients despite the screen that separates us. The experience I have gained allows me to support patients in making the most of their online session, while I guide them to ensure that our time is optimized, both in technical matters as well as in substance.
Online therapy is not a last resort – it is an excellent and accessible alternative in its own right.
Recent studies have shown that online therapy does not negatively impact the relationship between therapist and patient, and that it can bring about significant positive results which do not fall short of those achieved through in-person sessions.
Benefits of online therapy:
- You can choose any therapist, without geographic restrictions limiting your search
- Significant savings on time and travel costs
- The ability to continue therapy even when in-person sessions are not possible, for instance during quarantine, illness, or travel for work or holiday
- Young people often feel more at ease with online communication
S., 25 years old. She contacted me for online therapy after I was recommended to her. We have been meeting twice a week for many months, on the same days and at the same times – just like we would have done at the clinic. S. decides where to place her camera, thus deciding just how much of her life she wishes to share with me, and how much of her home, her room and herself to reveal. Sometimes she sits very close to the camera, while on other days she sits further away. Sometimes she looks straight into my eyes, and on other occasions she will divert her gaze away. When S. began her therapy, she was in a very tough emotional and physical situation. Over the course of our time together, her condition has improved significantly: she is studying and functioning, her social and family relationships have improved and her emotional state has stabilized.
G., 40 years old, began therapy with in-person sessions at my clinic. Following her divorce, she moved away, but needed to continue our weekly sessions. I offered her an online alternative, and despite her understandable initial concerns, my experience and confidence in the online format helped bring her round to the idea and to feel comfortable with regular weekly sessions in which she is in her new home, and I sit in the same familiar armchair. Her therapy concluded after reaching a notable improvement in the matter for which she had sought therapy in the first place. The online sessions also assisted her in the process of moving and building her new life, offering therapeutic continuity and a source of stability in a time of turmoil.
* Sessions can be held in Hebrew or English.