Video Filled the Therapy Chair
By Jonathan King AMFT
The world has changed, and the world of therapy has changed along with it. One of the very few positives that have arisen out of the pandemic, will be the significant increase in access and availability to mental health assistance by way of telehealth. The word is broad and covers many different modalities of communication between the therapist and client. Clients can access their therapy by old school telephone voice to voice interaction or by way of extremely clear live video sessions accessed by way of smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Therapists around the world are now more accessible via telehealth than at any point in human history. Clients can be as young as 3, and all the way up to the elderly. There’s a different communication dynamic that works with each type of client and even more that may not work at all. As the therapist, I have the option of working from my desktop computer at home, laptop at the office, company issued iPad, or if all of those are out of reach or the Wi-Fi happens to be down, my personal cell phone can tag in and securely connect me to whichever communication style works best with the client’s comfortability. The convenience factor of online therapy is still on the raised end of the scale when compared to in-person therapy. Humans are craving in person interactions with other real human beings. The general medical appointments post-pandemic will more than likely stay long after and develop even further for diagnosis and testing options through our smart devices. It’s not hard to imagine psychotherapy following in the same direction due to modern adaptability and not to mention these soaring gas prices we are seeing.
There will always be aspects of in-person sessions that can never be duplicated from a phone or a screen, but with the recent changes to societal norms and the rise in clients seeking therapy, it won’t be long until the perk of technology outweighs those aspects that make in person therapy more efficient. We currently have different backgrounds we can change and a whiteboard that can be drawn or written on simultaneously with the client as useful tools in our video sessions. It’s not hard to imagine that in a few short years the filters and games used on popular social media apps like Instagram and Tik Tok could be utilized in therapy to keep clients comfortable, engaged, and excited about the therapeutic experience they have available in the palms of their hands or their television screens soon enough.