The physical environment in which we work together is key and clients have varying needs.
My private practice offers a range of options for us to meet and talk so that your experience is tailored to you. They all cost the same so your choice can be based solely on what works best for you therapeutically and practically. We can always change the approach if your needs evolve.
If I am helping you through another organisation such as a charity, they may offer a different set of options.
Finding the best way for us to talk
Voice-only sessions conducted over the telephone provide vital therapeutic support to many people and can provide a good solution with some key advantages as they:
Provide much more focus than asynchronous texting conducted amongst other distractions
Remove the need to travel to the therapist’s office so they are easier to schedule
Improve the likelihood of appointments being kept if the client has specific circumstances that make keeping face-to-face appointments physically or emotionally difficult. For example, a client may be suffering from conditions such as:
Depression, which can make motivation for appointments difficult
Agoraphobia, which can make leaving home difficult
Body dysmorphic disorder or other factors such as anxiety, which can make it uncomfortable to talk in person or on a video call
Multiple sclerosis or other physical disabilities, which can make traveling difficult or even impossible.
Whilst there are studies that suggest telephone therapy is as effective as the alternatives, in my experience the advantages are tempered by it preventing the observation of non-verbal communication. This can inhibit the connection between client and therapist and therefore the rate at which progress can be made.
On that basis, whilst I prefer voice calls over texting, I would recommend video calls (or in-person meetings) in preference to voice calls for any client that feels able to be seen.
That said, telephone-based sessions will always have a place and that is why I offer them to individuals.
In this post-COVID era, the acceptance of conducting therapy sessions using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom has increased significantly.
As noted above, not all clients are willing to be seen, but for those that are, video calls share the same scheduling advantages enjoyed by voice-only calls.
However, video calls also resolve telephone therapy’s principal disadvantage of not enabling the observation of non-verbal communication. This is a key advantage of video and can boost the connection between client and therapist and thereby aid progress.
Whilst there are studies to suggest that video calls are as effective as in-person sessions, in my experience nothing beats the connection enabled by being in the same room as someone; many people will recognise this observation from their working life or elsewhere.
On that basis, whilst I prefer video calls over voice calls, I would recommend in-person sessions in my therapy room for anyone that is in a position to travel there.
That said, video-based sessions will always have a place and that is why I offer them to individuals.
If you are interested in using video calls for our sessions, please feel free to review my dedicated video call FAQ here.
Texting (not currently offered)
Whilst there are studies that suggest otherwise, in my experience the best results are achieved through in-person sessions conducted in a suitable therapy room. I find that this is where the best levels of focus, connection and progress can be achieved.
The key disadvantages of this option are the need to travel to a fixed location and its unsuitability for people who can travel but don’t want to be seen.
I have my own therapy room (pictured below) that I make available to clients of my private practice. It gets positive comments from people who see me there and has various benefits including:
Quiet, private and free from interruption
East London location (E15) with excellent transport links
Walkable from 4 train stations, namely Stratford, Maryland, Stratford International and Leyton.
The rise of online therapy services has seen text-based therapy become increasingly prevalent; a trend underpinned by a deterioration in the reported mental health of young people who are disproportionately inclined towards text-based therapy.
Advocates of text-based therapy cite key advantages for the client such as:
There being no need to travel
There being no need to be seen
The opportunity to process their therapist’s texts (and formulate replies) at their own pace
The ability to look back at the conversation history.
There are also some notable disadvantages such as:
Emojis do not replace tone of voice
Non-verbal communication cannot be observed
The challenge for the therapist in maintaining good response times alongside their other personal or professional commitments. Delayed replies from the therapist could prove very detrimental to the relationship and therefore the wider therapeutic process.
I do not offer text-based therapy to my own clients in my private practice.
That is because I see it as the least desirable and the least clinically effective mode of communication available, which isn’t to say there isn’t a place for it in general or that there won’t be some people for whom it is the most appropriate option overall.
I would not be surprised to see its popularity increase over time but for the foreseeable future, I do not plan to offer this option to my own clients that engage me directly.