While on a treadmill recently I listened to a podcast, reviewed my emails, and caught up on the family news with my sister. As I looked around the gym I noticed I wasn’t the only one. Many people were multitasking while exercising and it made me think about how much technology has changed the way we perform our everyday tasks. We have all adjusted to the convenience of having computers in our back pockets which has changed the way we do many things. As an online therapist I commonly work with people via a smartphone, tablet or a computer. My clients may be talking to me from their living room, office, hotel, coffee shop or an airport! The convenience of online communication allows for a more consistent relationship no matter the schedule, and as a result a more efficient outcome. This may sound a bit strange to you and maybe you are wondering how this could possibly work. Let me ask you this. Have you ever had a meaningful conversation with someone either via the phone, email or even text? Even though you may have been many miles away from this person, perhaps they were able to provide you with a compassionate ear, and help you feel better about whatever situation you were discussing. As someone who has been working online for many years now, I can tell you the “good” therapist that provides a connection can be face to face in a traditional office or online and available to you on the go. The important aspect about the connection is about validation, empathy and the therapist’s ability to assist you in exploring whatever you bring to the session. You must feel like you have been heard and you have been given a safe place to be. There is no magic in an in-person connection but it is just a model of therapy we have all become used to. Portable online therapy can help us make our mental health a priority without the difficulty of the client having to fit their schedule into the therapist’s office hours. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone while they were on a treadmill (yet) but I am excited about the possibilities!
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