Now Offering Online Counselling

It has been an interesting and unexpected process for me to shift from exclusively embodied therapy into the ‘virtual’ medium. I was skeptical of online counseling. As someone who places huge importance on the quality of the therapeutic relationship as a predictor of successful outcomes in therapy, and the necessity of shared physical presence to read and track the subtle energetic interplay between therapist and client I underestimated the potential of online therapy. So it was not a planned work strategy. It began by chance.

Some previous clients got back in touch when they needed extra support. As I’m no longer in Bristol or, indeed, London and they didn’t want to go through the process of finding and establishing rapport with a new therapist I cautiously offered them cyber sessions over video link. To my surprise the majority seemed to significantly benefit from the experience. They gave positive feedback and chose to continue working in this format. Clinically they appeared to be receiving similar benefits to those they had displayed in conventional therapy.

Initially I was astonished to find that really meaningful work could still be achieved online with previous clients with whom I already had a working relationship. But could this stretch to people with whom there was no previous connection? Would it be possible, having never sat across the room from someone, never shaken them by the hand, never had the reference of their physical presence, to form a tenable bond that could tether us effectively enough to withstand the challenges of therapy?

I am finding that there are inevitable drawbacks. Sometimes I miss the palpable immediacy of being in the same room together. Visual cues from seeing the whole human body in front of you are lost. Sometimes I want to give a client some particular handouts or together look over therapeutic assignments they’ve done.

But I’m finding that the lost benefits of face to face work can be balanced with added benefits from new elements. The saving of time, resources and energy that are spent in travelling both for the client and therapist allow for those resources to be channeled elsewhere. For the client being in one’s own home – not having to battle one’s way home when feeling raw and emotional – can be a huge attraction. For those who struggle to reveal aspects of themselves face to face the perceived anonymity of meeting via screen can help ease the fear of self-disclosure.

I take care to explain the pros and cons of working in this medium to potential clients and refer them to therapists in their location if it’s decided that they would benefit more from the tangible connection. In assessment the nature of their issues also determines whether it would feel appropriate to do online work versus the more grounded option. If on reflection and discussion there are no significant perceived drawbacks we give it a try. Thus far it’s been a mutually rewarding experience and I’ll continue to offer online therapy moving forwards.

Counselling In Devon

My counselling practice has now moved from Bristol to Devon. I am seeing clients for sessions at The Nautilus Rooms, Totnes and The Practice Rooms, Exeter. I am also conducting online therapy sessions via video platform.

When I initially moved down to Devon, knowing it would take a fair while to build up a practice in a new area, I decided to team up with The Kusnacht Practice and Brevin Healthcare. They offer individualized high end care for people who want a rounded package of support covering their psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and medical care. It took me to Zurich, Dubai, Kuwait and London where I was delivering intensive bouts of counselling for those with whom I worked. I feel very privileged to have had that opportunity to learn new ways of working that have strengthened my capacity to be flexible in the face of unusual circumstances and needs, as well as the benefits of solid therapeutic boundaries.

Having now settled in the South Hams and put my roots firmly down in the ochre soil of southern Devon I’ve found rooms to practice in both Totnes and Exeter. I am relishing the return to the gentle, steady power of weekly sessions with clients and the space this gives me to deepen connections with family, friends, the myriad progressive projects in the local community and, of course, the landscape itself.

I have established connections with two esteemed local organizations that I feel proud to support. Last season I ran a weekly therapeutic group for the “Becoming Indigenous’ course participants, providing reflective space for people to integrate their experiences and process dynamics within the group. I have stepped up to be a trustee of Write to Freedom – an innovative and transformational charity devoted to supporting addicts and young offenders to reclaim their potential through nature therapy, myth and creative writing. Last year I co-facilitated a monthly ‘grief circle’- a voluntary offering for any in the community seeking a place to touch, express and share their grief.

At The Nautilus Rooms in Totnes where I practice I am happy to be surrounded by a range of therapists, with a broad and suitably colourful array of therapeutic styles being offered. If you would like an assessment for Counselling in South Devon please contact me.