During the stay-at-home times of the pandemic, I was conducting video therapy sessions between six and eleven hours a day. I took yoga micro-practice breaks and short walks, and did fine with the workload. I’ve often said that I enjoy my work so much that it should be called something else.
Then, I fractured my patella (knee). That meant I was working from bed for many months, and video sessions were no longer an option. So I switched to the telephone, and discovered that both I and my clients preferred it.
Clients list these advantages to telephone therapy versus video therapy:
- They can move around if needed and it won’t disturb the session. Some even take walks, which they feel make them more open.
- Since no one is looking at them, clients don’t worry about being “presentable” and can be super comfy.
- Some clients find it easier to share over the phone than on video, or even in person. Many come from the generation where they remember heartfelt talks over the phone. Others remember this of their parents. My mother would talk daily to one of her sisters for over an hour a day. Today, I enjoy hour-long talks with that same aunt (though, I confess, it’s often from my car).
- Video conferencing technology is not always reliable and that can be frustrating and disruptive to the therapy process.
Both telephone and video therapy are more convenient. There is no commuting or time in the waiting room, and clients don’t have to be away from the home, office, or home office. This makes it more conducive to attending consistently, and I’m happy to report that is definitely the trend among my clients.
When I am on the receiving end, working with my mentor and business coach, I also appreciate the telephone option. Because I am using only my hearing and not looking at the other person (or myself) on the screen, I feel more connected to what the other person is saying and can take in every word. Without having to maintain eye contact, I’m free to take notes (and I do!).
While I prefer telephone therapy sessions, I do occasional in-person walk-and-talk sessions and video sessions (let me know if you’re interested!), and Kaitlyn conducts most of her sessions via video (you can contact Kaitlyn here).
P.S. Telephone sessions are great, but I do miss seeing clients and colleagues in person in the counseling practice I created in a historic home in Winter Park, FL. It was a warm and inviting environment and perfect at the time.