Notes from the other chair – my one tip for new-to-remote therapists

My thoughts as vulnerable therapist as vulnerable client in an online/remote world.

I’m an experienced and trained ‘remote’ therapist and counselling supervisor. (I use remote to cover video, phone and email/messaging)

I have had Supervision by telephone or video for nearly 10 years.

I have, until last week, always had face to face personal therapy. So for my last session I chose to move to video. And I’m wondering how much of a ‘choice‘ did I think I had?

Well – what an uncomfortable process.

During my training I had sessions with others on the course so what is going here – why does this feel wrong?

Perhaps when I trained, my sessions with colleagues weren’t real to my subconscious? I metaphorically put my fingers in my ears . . .  naa naa naa  . . .  not real so doesn’t count?

My therapist offered me various (too many?) options via email  . . . .  I offered feedback on that, I can tell you. Real ‘Adapted Child’ stuff – my ‘Nurturing Parent’ rejecting me and such like.

I’ve worked with my therapist for more than ten years and I thought I had a deep therapeutic connection, which, combined with my enhanced (😊) self-awareness would mean video counselling would be easy.

It wasn’t easy – I’ve been left wondering and pondering and I know I will deal with this.

And I want to offer this to colleagues who are moving quickly into remote working – please, please consider remote personal therapy too.

For me, my experience of my session is informing my clinical practice as much as my training did.

One thing I’ve been reminded of, that is the so important, is sitting in my clients’ chair – and I have done that now. It is on wheels, has an irritating squeak and faces a less-than tidy shelf.

I have been a bit battered and bruised by the experience, as well as held, heard and acknowledged.

I will be better as a therapist because of it.

If you are new to remote therapy, please may I invite you to sign up for personal therapy remotely with an experienced therapist. So that you have the experience – and learn and reassure yourself you are a good-enough therapist.

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