Online Counseling

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    • 00:02

      [MUSIC PLAYING]Online and telephone counseling, as the name suggests,is simply doing a counseling session with the personnot actually in the room-- so at the other end of a computeror laptop-- which is very powerful, because it

    • 00:26

      means they don't have to travel.I see people who are living further afield in London.Some I see in New York.And they wouldn't be able to come and see meif it wasn't for being able to use such things as Skypeto be able to have a session.So I'm just about to do a Skype session with a clientthat I haven't spoken to for quite a while.

    • 00:49

      And he's hopefully about to be dialing me on Skype.So I'm just going to get ready to receive his call.And here he is.

    • 01:04

      SPEAKER 2: Hi.Hi, Mark.Is the camera on?There we go.

    • 01:10

      MARK REEVES: Yeah, I'm seeing you now.So it's been a little while since we've actuallyhad a session this way.And I'm feeling that as a beginning,it might be good to just to take a momentto just let yourself land and be herebefore launching into anything.

    • 01:31

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah.

    • 01:32

      MARK REEVES: So take your time to do that.And just know that there's no hurry.There's no pressure.

    • 01:55

      MARK REEVES [continued]: There's no need to feel that you've got to suddenly pour outyou're dilemma or resolve anything.And the most effective thing that you can do at this pointis what you're doing, which is justto relax and breathe, and then just trust that it will unfoldin this time that we've got, in the way that it needs.

    • 02:22

      MARK REEVES [continued]: I think we're living in a time now where people expect,rightly or wrongly-- whether it's a good thing or not,people do expect to be able to do everything online,whether it's shopping, whether it'sconnecting with other people.Obviously, there's a downside of that.But, yeah, people expect to do that.And counseling has gone down that route to some extent.

    • 02:43

      MARK REEVES [continued]: And there's pros and cons of that,but I find it's a really effective way to work.And I don't feel that there's much lost in that.I still feel that connection with the person.I'd invite you to start by just simply saying somethingabout the particular state and the feelingsthat you're with at this point.

    • 03:04

      SPEAKER 2: All right, now feeling betterfor closing my eyes and resting.Gained an awareness of some tensionin my neck and shoulders.Over the last few days my head's been spinning, Mark.

    • 03:26

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: My head's just been spinning with all the informationabout the issue I'm facing at the moment.And when I judge myself about it,it seems that I'm lacking the courage

    • 03:47

      SPEAKER 2 [continued]: to follow through with a process I started many years ago.

    • 03:54

      MARK REEVES: And before even gettinginto the detail of the issue itself,just as you are doing, just to continue to say somethingabout the impact that that's having on you.I think that's really important.It's huge, isn't it?

    • 04:16

      MARK REEVES [continued]: Just let that come.I feel that online psychotherapy opens things up,because it means that people who potentially couldn't evenleave their house-- if they had a disability or agoraphobia--

    • 04:37

      MARK REEVES [continued]: they're able to actually have something, a service, whichthey wouldn't be able to have unless they hada counselor visiting them in their home, whichis less likely.I see people from all different walks of life,different presenting difficulties.Some people, I have online sessionswith from time to time.Some people, it's more regular.

    • 04:60

      MARK REEVES [continued]: So it varies greatly.Comparing online counselling with actual face-to-facecounseling is interesting.When I'm doing a session, I've asked myselfthat question-- is there anything really lostin not having the person there, face to face?And I'm always surprised and feel that no, there

    • 05:21

      MARK REEVES [continued]: isn't anything lost-- that it feelsas if they are in the room.You can connect with emotionally.You have the eye contact.As long as the internet connection is working well,there's nothing that appears to be lost.However, I've then had perhaps that very same person then comesee me face to face.And then I've gone, ah-- I can see

    • 05:42

      MARK REEVES [continued]: how there is another dimension that comes in,of course, when someone's here face to face,which you do lose when you're doing online.What that is is very subtle, but it's the simplest to say,the person's physical presence in the roomgives something which, of course, isn't therewhen they're on Skype.I know that you know, but I'm going to say it anyway--

    • 06:03

      MARK REEVES [continued]: that it's totally fine for you justto be feeling all of that-- the pressure that's been buildingthere for you in this last period.[SIGHS] [CRYING]

    • 06:39

      MARK REEVES [continued]: Thank you, Shakiel, I think that's soimportant-- the first step is justletting yourself feel all of it without trying to resolve it,without trying to find a way through it necessarily-- justto use this time as an outlet.

    • 07:09

      MARK REEVES [continued]: Now just let yourself breathe deeply.There's a way of opening even furtherto the feelings that are there.

    • 07:31

      MARK REEVES [continued]: Do you feel kind of grounded and connectedwith all that's happening in the room,now, to be able to kind of proceed?The beginning, I felt, was very important--just allow a bit of time for him to just be still,just to connect with himself, to land

    • 07:54

      MARK REEVES [continued]: from all of that tension of the actual technical stuff,to shift into why he's there and whatit is that he really wants to say.That feels to me, Shakiel, like a really agonizing place.

    • 08:18

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah.

    • 08:19

      MARK REEVES: Yeah.And I know that there's detail and story and stuffthat you could speak of, and perhaps you will speak of.But I think it's even more importantyou're just giving voice to that sense of feeling split in half.

    • 08:46

      MARK REEVES [continued]: And I really get the sense that, from what you're saying,that you're endeavoring, doing everything you can,to meet the needs of all parties-- to the extentthat you're spreading yourself so thinand stretching yourself, and the jugglingact you're speaking of.

    • 09:06

      MARK REEVES [continued]: And it sounds like you're doing that really well,and yet what that creates is this enormous pressureinside you which has to have some kind of outlet.

    • 09:24

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah, I haven't been giving it much of an outlet.

    • 09:32

      MARK REEVES: I'd just like, at this point,if you feel ready to go, to invite youinto another place with it-- into another place with it,to invite you into a different place to look at it from.And because I think you know, very well, that your mind isa thing that can very much come in try and work everything out.

    • 09:57

      MARK REEVES [continued]: And how much have you been doing thatin this last days, weeks, months?

    • 10:04

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah, too much.It's paralyzing me.

    • 10:09

      MARK REEVES: I would say that the relationships that I'vebuilt with clients over time, online, feeljust as deep and real as those that I've had with peopleface to face.And I've been surprised at that.The only downside that I've foundwith using online sessions is that at any point,

    • 10:31

      MARK REEVES [continued]: the technology can fail-- and sometimes does.So in the middle of a session, suddenlyyou've got that thing where either myself or the clientis saying, I can't hear you anymore.And you have to just really hang in there and bear with that.Sometimes that involves redialing.Hopefully, as time goes on, that stuff improves.But yes, that's the challenge.

    • 10:56

      MARK REEVES [continued]: Yeah, so your mind, as brilliant as it is,is limited at being able to actually work this one outfor you.Because the very nature of the beastis that it's beyond the dimensionof merely your intellect.And actually, all that you're experiencing thereis your mind going around and aroundand desperately trying to work everything out.

    • 11:19

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah.

    • 11:20

      MARK REEVES: And on that level-- on the level of your mind--it probably appears as something that's unresolvable.

    • 11:28

      SPEAKER 2: Yep.

    • 11:28

      MARK REEVES: And that's the kind of dead end and the impassethat you reach.But there is another place, as you know,which is beyond merely the mind.And that's to take you deep into your heart, whichis where that pain is as well.It's the painful place, but it's alsothe place where, potentially, there

    • 11:49

      MARK REEVES [continued]: can be another kind of resolve-- notthe resolve of working everything out,but a deeper trust in something.And I'd ask you just to feel into that placeand just speak of-- what is it that you reallywant in your heart of hearts?

    • 12:12

      MARK REEVES [continued]: Transpersonal psychotherapy is a particular school of therapy.And the name is referring to "beyond the personal."So it's the recognition of an interconnectednessbetween people and seeing those particular shapes and patternsplaying out our life, and that there's deepermeaning beyond just what's happening

    • 12:32

      MARK REEVES [continued]: on the surface, day-to-day level.I have this really strong sense, Shakielthat there's a scare inside of you of failing as a father.

    • 12:40

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah.

    • 12:42

      MARK REEVES: Yeah.And in a way, you're in danger of setting upthe very thing of the reality for yourselfwhere you get to feel like you're being a failure.In some way, you hold that picture.And I'd invite you to see that, and to seethat you don't need to hold that-- because I'd invite you

    • 13:03

      MARK REEVES [continued]: to consider-- just to consider-- the possibility of forgivingyourself at the deepest level.So look, Shakiel maybe we'll have another session soonto just reconnect with this and touch base

    • 13:24

      MARK REEVES [continued]: and follow it up, if you'd like to do that.

    • 13:31

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah, that'd be good for me, Mark.Yeah, thank you.

    • 13:35

      MARK REEVES: Yeah, go well.

    • 13:36

      SPEAKER 2: Thanks.You too.Bye-bye.

    • 13:38

      MARK REEVES: Bye.

    • 13:46

      SPEAKER 3: How did that go?

    • 13:49

      MARK REEVES: It was good.It was deep.And I felt that, obviously, there'san extra element of being filmed, and so on.And I felt Shakiel and me both managedto let go of that self-consciousness.You could see, once he got going, once he was opening up,

    • 14:09

      MARK REEVES [continued]: certainly for me-- I don't know how it is watching it--that he might as well have been here in the room.The openness, the emotion-- that'sthe point where very quickly the computer disappears, and it'slike he's just here in front of me.So that's a good example of where, once you've got past--

    • 14:30

      MARK REEVES [continued]: and you saw all the technical difficultiesof setting up in the beginning.Once all of that's done, and all of that--which is a kerfuffle-- then, once you get going,it can really work.

Online Counseling

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Abstract

Psychotherapist Dr. Mark Reeves discusses the use of online sessions, using Skype to communicate with clients who are disabled or otherwise unable to leave their homes. Reeves discusses the pros and cons of this electronic modality for treatment.

SAGE Video In Practice
Online Counseling

Psychotherapist Dr. Mark Reeves discusses the use of online sessions, using Skype to communicate with clients who are disabled or otherwise unable to leave their homes. Reeves discusses the pros and cons of this electronic modality for treatment.

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