PRACTICE UPDATE: Bay Area shelter-in-place order and video sessions last updated December 2020
My in-office practice is closed. At this time I am offering video sessions using the Securevideo platform.
Therapy in the pandemic: are video sessions as good as face-to-face sessions?
Most therapists’ teletherapy disclaimer form describes a video session as “not a complete, like-for-like substitution for an in-office session.”
Humans are extremely adaptable, and it seems to me that, as a field, we have all of us, clients and therapists, achieved good adaptation to the video format, better understanding the ways in which a video session compares with in-office: it’s different, yes, but, after nine months of taking on, and successfully treating new clients, most of us feel the video session absolutely substitutes for the in-office session. Nine months into the pandemic, very few of us have returned to our offices, and most do not expect to go back any time soon.
Therapy is absolutely about the client feeling completely seen, heard, and understood by the therapist. The therapist’s skill in picking up and interpreting transient emotions flickering across the client’s face is facilitated by the close-in nature of the video format, and this allows the therapist to be, at times, more present to the client even than in an office session.
For many clients (and many therapists), the video format usefully eliminates incidental burdens such as travel time, and offers the advantage of increased flexibility scheduling appointments.
During the pandemic my policy is not to charge clients for any missed session, or late cancellation.
Please remember that video sessions need to take place when you are in a private place where no one can hear our conversation. It may take a little time to figure out the best location and setup.
I look forward to continuing to work with existing and new clients through this challenging, historic time.