Video Therapy for Couples
COVID'S SILVER LINING
Although Covid brought untold stress and suffering worldwide, it forced the field of psychology to master video therapy. We learned some valuable lessons.
When doing individual video therapy with an individual and a therapist, the connection is weakened by the computer putting distance between the two humans trying to connect. While it's better than nothing and can still work, it loses some of its power.
On the other hand, it is different for couples therapy. Because the two of you are in the same room, with me guiding you, you feel the still feel the deep connection. And it can feel more intimate between the two of you because the therapist is on the screen.
MAKES LIFE EASIER
Some of the logistical advantages of telehealth counseling:
no driving to an appointment,
no searching for a parking space,
no worries about childcare while they’re away,
no need to switch therapists if someone moves, and
no problem if the therapist with the specialty that you need happens to be far away.
But you may wonder, sure it's convenient, but does it work?
Fortunately, there is good news on the research front. Researchers have shown that online therapy works as well as traditional face-to-face therapy. Studies have examined two factors:
outcomes for clients and
the quality of their relationships with their therapists
The findings show equal efficacy across telehealth and in-person conditions. If you'd like to dig in further, start with this meta-analysis (92 studies involving 9,000 clients) which has clearly confirmed the value of teletherapy.
Even though you may solve the problem of finding a sitter, you may still face the obstacle of interruption by your children. There are several ways to deal with this.
First, if you are interrupted, we pause for a moment, ask the kids to leave, and then restart. It's not ideal but we usually recover quickly.
Second, depending on the age of the children, you can ask them to not disturb you in advance.
Clearly explain that you are working on your communication with each other. This sets a great example of working on relationships for their later lives.
There are several limitations to online couples counseling that you should be aware of. At a most basic level, you need to be willing to have an open mind to building emotional connections using technology. Often, clients talk themselves out of trying online counseling because they think “they’ll be talking to a computer.” Many clients are pleasantly surprised by how easy it is once they get started. In fact, some clients actually feel more comfortable being in the privacy of their own living room.
You should know that whenever technology is involved, it is never 100% risk free. Even the most secure system can be hacked. I hope this does not deter you but I feel it's my duty to mention it.