I was having tea with a colleague of mine that I haven't seen in awhile. We were discussing some of the new directions in our practices. When I shared with her that I have been working with clients over the phone and using Skype, that was in fact her response, "Skype/phone sessions?, how impersonal!".
In truth, I wasn't surprised by her response. When I was first introduced to this idea I had a similar reaction. The reality was much different. There are some tremendous benefits from working virtually and over the phone:
- costs less time and $ - no travel time for the client
- physical and emotional comfort, especially for those dealing with pain, environmental issues or anxiety
- client can choose a setting that feels best for them
I find that there are numerous assumptions in the helping professions about how people get well, mostly with the practitioners themselves. I notice that when clients are ready to make a change there are certain qualities to the experience that seems to be essential across the board:
- a well-trained practitioner who understands their scope of practice
- a sense of safety physically and emotionally
- good "chemistry" between the practitioner and the client
Each of these qualities can be part of the practitioner/client relationship in which Skype/phone is the vehicle.
For me, I would add that what I need to be able to access when working with a client is the following:
- my training
- my intuition
- my body
- my voice
- my breath
- my faith in a client's ability to heal
all of which are available to me in a Skype and phone session.
Now that I have gone over to "the other side" and embraced (yes, embraced) Skype and phone sessions as a valuable option for my clients, I feel excited about being available to people outside of my town and my community.
Some people are surprised by how the process allows them to work more deeply and completely. Others love the convenience and ease of turning on their computer or phone and plopping down in their favorite chair with their loyal pooch beside them. For me, I love that. It really allows the client to take more control of creating their own healing place.