Sometimes it is very difficult or might even feel impossible to meet a therapist for regular face to face sessions. This is often the case for people with social phobia or for people who live in some very remotes areas with limited transport links. This might also be due to poor physical health, busy work schedule that means that you travel a lot for work, or for fear of stigma of accessing mental health services.
Online therapy can be a suitable alternative to face to face therapy.
Modes of online therapy I offer:
- I offer video-conference based therapy through Vsee application (similar to skype but considered to be having better encryption qualities thus being more secure and confidential)
- I offer chat based therapy, also supported through Vsee application.
What do I need to access online therapy:
You will need a computer with a webcam if you would like to use video-conferencing as therapy mode.
Headset with microphone is highly recommended as it offers higher clarity of sound, one does not have to speak loudly and therefore if is more confidential than using the PC inbuilt speakers and microphone.
You will need to sign up with Vsee. The registration is easy and free and I will email you an invite that will take you directly to the application. After registration you will be automatically added to my contact list. Please look out for an email saying: Zuzana wants to connect with on Vsee (please check your spam folder as well)
Secure data transmission and client privacy is a top priority. Vsee utilises state-of-the-art security and encryption protocols, making Vsee compliant with HIPAA requirements. Communication is securely encrypted and transmitted from point-to-point in such a way that even VSee itself does not have access to any identifiable health information that may be communicated. Therefore, it is ideal for tele-health needs.
High speed internet connection is recommended mainly for the video-conference based therapy.
Online therapy versus face to face therapy
Online therapy has been proven effective for health problems, e.g. chronic pain. (Cuijpers, van Straten, & Andersson, 2008) and its effectiveness can be comparable to face to face therapy. Similar results were found for depression and anxiety problems (Andersson, Cuijpers, Carlbring, Riper, & Hedman, 2014). (Postel, de Haan, & De Jong, 2008).
What difficulties are suitable for online therapy?
Mild to moderate cases of:
- Anxiety difficulties, such as phobias, OCD, social anxiety, generalised anxiety etc.
- Health difficulties such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome etc.
- low self-esteem
- lack of confidence
CBT is the most researched therapeutic approach utilised for online therapy.
Why would I not be suitable for online therapy
Online therapy might not be suitable for people who are experiencing severe symptoms and are at risk of hurting themselves (suicidal thoughts or self-harm) due to their distress.
How do I pay for video therapy?
Either through a bank transfer or via PayPal (I will email you invoice). For fees please see the Fee, Appointments and Working Hours section of the website.
Will it be anonymous?
No. I will require basic registration details such as you name, phone number, date of birth and address. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, it enables us to get to know each other and thus contribute to building of therapeutic relationship that is vital for psychological interventions. This is even more so in chat-based therapy where we do not see each other. Secondly, I have a duty of care to safeguard you (my client) and the generic public and therefore require personal information to enable me to do so.
Due to different rules and laws on providing online therapy in different parts of world I only offer therapy to UK residents. However, if you are temporarily abroad for work or leisure this is fine.
What happens during video-conferencing and chat-based therapy
Video-conferencing is not that dissimilar to face to face therapy as we will be able to see each other and hear each other through the computer. However, as the image on screen is smaller than real size person it can be more difficult to read facial expression and therefore attune to your emotional state. It is also possible that at times connection might not be perfect and clarity of sound and picture might vary, which is not normally the case in face to face therapy.
Communication through chat-mode therapy tends to be slower as people are generally faster speaking then typing. As the verbal cues are completely missing in this mode it can also be more difficult for me to pick up on your emotional state. However, the advantage of chat-based therapy is its relative anonymity that makes therapy more accessible for people who struggle with more direct means of contact (e.g. video-conferencing, face to face therapy).