We offer online psychotherapy appointments / appointments by phone to people of all ages. These follow the same basic principles as all of the psychotherapy we offer, see Find Help.
Our therapists have all completed the training “How to do Counselling Online” run by the Open University in order to ensure that they are up to date with the latest guidance about effective online and remote working, so are well placed to offer effective treatment this way. All of our therapists have experience in working remotely, and we will share with you a set of guidelines to help this work as smoothly as possible.
There are gains & losses from working remotely – on the one hand it is a flexible way of working that is practical at the present time during the COVID-19 outbreak, but it can also suit people who, for example, need to travel a lot, who cannot easily leave the house or who are students moving between different locations. There are many reasons why this might be a preferred way of working. For some people having therapy remotely can feel freeing, making it feel safer to talk about difficult feelings while in the home setting and distanced physically from the therapist. For others it is a good practical alternative to face-to-face therapy, or a temporary arrangement while face-to-face therapy is not possible. It’s not going to suit everyone, so we would always offer you some appointments to try it out & see if this is going to work for you / your child.
Therapy for young children online
For the youngest children the work remains largely play based, with some children using drawing or music as they would in face-to-face work. We offer 1-1 online therapy for some children, while for others it can also be helpful to have parents present for some or all of the session, depending on each child’s needs & ability to manage online therapy. Children develop all sorts of creative uses of technology to communicate their thoughts and feelings, and as with face-to-face work our therapists help children explore the things that are bothering them and help them to put some difficult feelings into words.
Older children, adolescents & adults
As with face-to-face work, older children, adolescents & adults are more likely to communicate primarily in words, gestures & body language. The therapist can help you / your child to find a set-up that feels as relaxed as possible, e.g. where you might want to position your screen. The therapist will talk with you / your child about whether online therapy or therapy by phone feels better, and you might want to try out both. The therapist will be alert to issues that arise as a result of the therapy taking place online, and will think about these issues with you / your child.
Sometimes it’s helpful for parents to have one or more consultations with a therapist to talk about issues that are affecting family dynamics or causing them to worry about their children. Our child and adolescent therapists are experienced in giving online therapeutic parenting support / support by phone, helping parents to get a clearer view of the difficulties and to find some new ways forward. Online parent consultations can be a good practical alternative to face-to-face work as they can be easier to fit around other commitments or around childcare demands.
This intervention is very much focused on helping parents develop a stronger bond with their baby. The therapist will therefore help set up the computer or phone in such a way that she or he will be able to see both or either parents and their baby at the same time. Depending on age and development, the baby is most likely to be either in the parents’ arms, next to them or on the floor with a few simple toys. The therapist will be attentive to the parents’ concerns and difficulties and to the baby’s communication through his or her body language. A few online sessions can generally be very helpful to alleviate the initial anxiety new parents might have and help them make sense of their worries. This in turn will help parents feel a deeper connection with their baby. An initial consultation without the baby present can also be arranged if the parents do not feel comfortable to talk to the therapist in the presence of their baby.
At this particularly difficult and stressful time, many professionals are finding that being able to think about the complexities of their work, and the impact of that work on them with a qualified therapist, outside of their normal working environment or team, can be immensely helpful. Many people who access our Supervision Service are working in occupations such as the medical and nursing professions, teaching, social work, the third sector and the charitable sector, all of which are experiencing increased pressures and strains, particularly in the current climate. The Bridge Foundation offers online supervision either by video link or by telephone. We can provide one to one supervision or group supervision.