Video counselling is a form of video therapy in which counsellor and client met for their therapy or counselling session using a secure video connection instead of meeting in-person. The growing popularity of telepsychology goes to show that the way therapy is conducted has evolved a great deal since the turn of the new century. Indeed, more and more therapists are conducting therapy with means of communication that would have been deemed science fiction 20 years ago.
More and more counsellors around the globe conduct therapy and offer counselling via video conferencing. Though in its early developmental stage, the use of video conferencing for therapy, known as video counselling or video therapy, is less costly and is as, if not more effective than in-person therapy.
Twenty-five years ago, almost everybody thought that the next technological advance would be the landline videophone. No one ever thought that we would actually have video conversations using a phone we carry in our pocket. Fast-forward twenty-five years, therapists now use their cell phone to carry out counseling sessions.
Most people’s first experience with videotelephony (or video chat) was using Skype. Skype’s videophone system is undeniably one of the most important telecommunication inventions of the new century. The fact we can communicate with people from around the globe from our desktop or laptop at the lowest rate possible has truly revolutionized the way we communicate and stay connected.
The use of video technologies in health care, known as telehealth, existed before Skype. But the demand grew exponentially since Skype became a household name. In some instances, video therapy or telepsychology yields greater therapeutic success than traditional talk therapy for the following reasons:
1Clients do not meet face to face with the therapist, hence making it easier to open up and discuss issues they would have normally shied away from (e.g. homosexuality, addictions, infidelity, intimacy issues, etc.);
2Not sharing a room with a therapist sometimes makes it easier for the client to open up, especially those sensitive to the presence of another human being. Indeed, the defense mechanisms of some may get triggered by the smallest threat or unusual thing (e.g. details about the therapy room, sitting arrangement, fear of being judged or of being looked at, therapist's appearance and manners). The activation of various psychological defenses is thus lessened when doing phone or online therapy;
3A phone or online therapist has to rely more heavily on their listening skills. As the therapist listens deeply and intently, their instinctual awareness or intuition gets activated. This quality of attention leads to the formulation and sharing of profound insights that are uniquely intended to the client. In order to find the one answer for a particular client, a phone or online counsellor has to make an effort to stay open and remain aware. This tends to make the therapeutic process client-centered and less about the therapist himself;
4Moreover, when using an alternative therapeutic modality, a phone or online counsellor has to develop the skill of making concise and powerful interventions. This is done by choosing meaningful words and selecting an appropriate tone to convey information in an effective manner. The ability to ask the right question or say the right thing at the right time results in insightful understanding, which unlocks the client’s human potential and translates into healing;
5Some clients may prefer telephone counselling simply because they wish to remain anonymous due to their social status or role in society.
If you travel lots or live outside city centers, video therapy is probably best-suited to meet your needs and circumvent your limitations. Indeed, the advent of online video telecommunication has made it possible to have access to therapy and meet with a counsellor virtually anywhere, at anytime.
The same issues that are normally addressed during an in-person counselling session can be discussed and worked through in a video session, including anxiety, addiction, stress, marital problems and workplace conflicts. Video counselling is thus the preferred way of doing therapy for people with busy schedules, working on the road, without a car, with handicaps, or living nowhere near populated areas.
Furthermore, I provide video counselling services using a secure video connection and high quality image. After 5 minutes, you’ll forget you’re having a video counselling session and not actually sitting in my office.
Maintain your privacy, preserve the confidentiality of your counselling sessions, and benefit from the advantages of video counselling: Unlike other counselors who use Skype to conduct therapy, I use a secure video system for our video therapy sessions.
Conducting therapy through video conferencing is rather new, and legislation is evolving rapidly to catch up with technological progress. Most therapists offering video counselling services out there use Skype to conduct their video sessions. However, Skype is not considered to be a secure Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) video system. Indeed, the calls made over the network are routinely monitored.
In order to ensure the privacy and maintain confidentiality during sessions, and in agreeance with both the American Psychological Association and Canadian Psychological Association policies in place, I use a secure video system that is HIPAA compliant. So if you want to try online therapy via video conferencing and are concerned about privacy, make sure you talk to a counsellor who goes the extra mile and makes confidentiality a priority.