As technology progresses the consensus appears to be that services should follow. With a library of our favourite reads being stored on kindles and CD’s fast becoming ‘things from the old days’, should the face to face contact provided by therapists since 1902 now be reassessed and adapted to an ever growing cyber reality? Is using Skype to facilitate therapy sessions a step forward or a risk of therapists keeping their clients firmly in the dark?

On a practical level there are a number of reasons one might use to argue the case in favour of Skype sessions. It can allow people to choose a therapist outside their geographical comfort zone, using low cost initial sessions to ‘vet’ as many as they choose before deciding on the therapist right for them. It can also save money travelling too and from sessions, not to mention maximising time. As long as the client has good internet connection they can get support from their therapist in the comfort of their own home, at work or even while on holiday with flexibility from the therapist possibly more negotiable due to easier access. Skype sessions can also dramatically increase anonymity, especially if the therapist is located in a different region or even country to the client. This avoids the dreaded situation of bumping into each other outside of the therapeutic space or even in the company of family and friends.

However, at what point did therapy become a ‘practical’ solution to any problem and are we losing sight of the impact virtual sessions might have not only on the client but also on the manifestation of the therapist/client relationship and thus the success of the sessions themselves. Without the initial handshake, direct eye contact or even the close proximity to a box of tissues could the client be left feeling disillusioned or even more vulnerable after therapy? Perhaps without the more traditional experience could we be creating even further feelings of despair once the computer shuts down?

Erika Sanger.

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