Our thoughts on Face-to-Face therapy vs. Online therapy are very much in line with the editor of the BACP’s Private Practice journal (Dec 2020) and a number of other practitioners within the sector.
“…remote therapy cannot be, nor should ever be considered to be, in my belief, a comparative equivalent to being in the room.
“If the necessary enforced isolation that COVID-19 has brought has taught us only one thing, I hope it will be this: that, for optimal wellbeing, we need to be in embodied relationship with one another. In the same place, at the same time, as living, breathing bodies,” John Daniel writes.
Being in the [same] room. For optimal wellbeing. In [an] embodied relationship. It is hard to make a simpler case. And as well as Zoom headaches and the distinct feeling of being in a one-dimensional, still-lonely, eye-squinting world using the other method, we think that “the very fundamentals of our profession” are at stake.
One need only watch the impressive Jason Reitman/George Clooney film Up in the Air (2009) to realise that the more impersonal form of communication ‘through a screen’ can never truly address or pay sufficient respect to the human condition or suffering.
From 2021, therefore, we will resume face-to-face therapy paying strict attention to government guidelines, the Health and Safety Executive and leading counselling bodies.
On 7th January, BACP guidance stated: “Some businesses have been ordered to close under the national lockdown, however the guidance on business closures issued on 24 December still applies and does provide scope for face to face counselling to take place under exemptions for ‘businesses providing services relating to mental health’.”
Whilst respecting the need for absolute safety, we now strongly believe that the lifeline which face-to-face counselling/psychotherapy offers is critical.