Thanks to COVID-19, online therapy has quickly gained popularity. At Oxford CBT we’ve been ahead of the curve, offering virtual therapy sessions for the past few years and Adam Lacey has been offering E therapy for over 10 years. Gone are the days when the only way to access CBT therapy was sitting in a room, you can now speak to a qualified therapist wherever and whenever suits you.
Virtual therapy is exactly as it sounds. It’s exactly the same as in-person therapy, the only thing that changes is the setting. A therapist will help you develop a range of mechanisms and coping skills, but they’ll just do so via your phone, tablet or laptop. If you are looking for ways to enhance your happiness, health or wellbeing, improve your ability to manage stress or thrive in life we can help.
Is Virtual Counselling a New Phenomenon Because of Covid-19
Covid-19 certainly threw a spanner in the works for a number of businesses, but for Oxford CBT it’s nothing new. We have been offering online therapy for a number of years and all our therapists are experienced, friendly and offer the same great service you would expect from in-person therapy.
Why Do People Use Online / Telephone Counselling?
For many people, taking the first step can be a little daunting, so settling down in the familiar surroundings of your home for a chat can help those nerves. Or perhaps between work, picking up kids from school, cooking dinner, walking dogs, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to drive to see a therapist – but you can squeeze in a virtual session.
We hear many reasons as to why online therapy just works better for some people including:
- Lack of time to fit in travel to and then from an in-person appointment
- Physical hurdles such as transport issues or not living close to a clinic
- Shyness, embarrassment and/or nerves
- Agoraphobia or socially anxious
- Privacy – you don’t need to worry about bumping into someone you know in the waiting room!
How Online Counselling Works
One of the best things about remote therapy is that it can work using the tech and apps you already use every day. Desktop, laptop, tablet or phone, as long as it’s got a camera, a microphone and internet connection, you’re halfway there! We use a simple video software that works on all platforms, ensuring a stress free appointment. The content of your session is exactly the same as it would be, minus the travel.
What to Expect From Online Virtual Counselling
Everything you would experience in a face-to-face session you can expect online – we’ll just be on the other end of the phone and screen! Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) is designed to allow us to work with patients to discuss life’s problems, which may include work stress, difficulties with relationships, excessive pain, self-esteem issues and uncomfortable emotions such as depression, anxiety, bereavement, stress and anger. Rather than focusing on the past, CBT Therapy focuses on the present, using reference to the past to help understand why we may be thinking or behaving in a certain way. We then learn to change our unhelpful thoughts and behaviours through exploring the way we think about past, present and future life events.
Counselling Online and Remote Therapy – Is It Just as Effective as Seeing Someone?
Remote therapy has similar levels of patient satisfaction to face-to-face therapy, and studies have shown that the empathetic relationship between patient and therapist, vital for effective therapy, is not compromised. Studies have also shown that when remote therapy has been used to maintain consistent appointments during challenging circumstances, people feel less anxious, and may even need to contact their therapist less. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or iCBT) was “effective, acceptable and practical health care”. Importantly, another study documented that positive improvements were still sustained at the one-year follow-up by patients that had undertaken online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Does it Have To Be on a Video Platform?
To get the most out of the session we do require you to have access to a laptop, phone or tablet with a camera and microphone. Once your appointment is booked with one of our highly qualified therapists we will send you a link that will become live at the time of your appointment. All you need to do is click on the link and follow the very simple instructions.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Access to the Platforms That Oxford CBT Use?
As long as you have an internet connection, webcam and microphone, the appointment link we send you will work! It’s straight forward, easy to use and our therapists will put you at ease as soon as the call connects.
What Virtual Packages Do You Offer?
No therapy is one-size-fits-all, and every case is different. But remote therapy is generally suitable for most people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems. We offer a range of therapies targeted to work with patients to discuss life’s problems, which may include work stress, difficulties with relationships, excessive pain, self-esteem issues and uncomfortable emotions such as depression, anxiety, bereavement, stress and anger.
Do I Get to Talk to a Real Person as Some of These Apps are Just Text and Pre-Recorded Videos?
There are many sites who offer discounted sessions for online therapy but have you ever wondered why you are paying less than if you went in person? On these sites you will often be talking to a different person each time who has no connection to you, and in some cases you might not even be talking to a real person at all!
You can never be sure as to whether the therapist is in the same country, holds appropriate qualifications and worst of all, whether what they suggest is personalised, or just a generic solution offered to anyone with similar symptoms. We believe online therapy shouldn’t be any different to in-person therapy which is why you will always speak to the same therapist, build a relationship with them and work through a tailor made programme designed specifically for you.
Will You Keep the Recordings of my Virtual Therapy?
None of your virtual therapy sessions will be recorded or shared with anyone else.
Are our Online Virtual Therapy Sessions Secure?
Absolutely – online therapy is a safe and secure way to speak with an Oxford therapist. The therapist will have their video on so you can be sure as to who you are talking too, and the sessions are not recorded.
What Makes You Qualified to do Online Therapy
At Oxford CBT we have a fantastic and growing team of over twenty clinicians, committed to the wellbeing of both their clients and the wider community that we are all a part of. As well as bringing great skills and experience, they are also truly wonderful people. We only employ the best at OxfordCBT, and can guarantee that all our therapists hold the appropriate qualifications and experience to deliver an outstanding service.
Are there any Conditions That you Would Not Recommend for Online Virtual Therapy?
Although online therapy has been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy, we would not recommend it for anyone experiencing more severe problems or conditions such as suicidal thoughts, psychosis, anorexia or anyone under the age of 16. If you fall into one or more of these categories we would suggest booking an in person appointment. When should I see a therapist ?
Do you Have an App Like Other Online Companies?
We don’t have an app because we treat all our online sessions just as we would an in-person session. The session will be personal and tailored entirely to the specific problems you are facing and an app just doesn’t provide the level of support we do!
For my Online Therapy Sessions do I Have to Commit to so Many Sessions?
Your therapist may recommend a certain number of sessions, but it is up to you whether you decide to take that advice. Most people quickly realise that multiple sessions help them really deal with the issues they are facing, but if you feel that you don’t need any further sessions after your first we won’t tie you into any packages. Likewise, if you start with online therapy but once you have a connection with your therapist would rather meet in person for a face-to-face session that’s fine! We are flexible around your schedule and what works for you.
All clinicians at Oxford CBT practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or are Psychologists,offering evidence-based interventions and support for a range of issues for both young people and adults. If you would like to book an appointment you can do so on our online booking portal. If you have a question please get in touch via our online contact form or call us on 01865 920077.