As one does what one does and in my case that is psychotherapy and counselling one always seeks the new and different. Hey!! if you don’t one gets old in mind or in my case I would get bored out of my little mind. In recent times I have had occasion to do therapy using Skype on my computer.
Of course with a new medium of human communication comes new facetiae with that. The good and the bad I suppose one could say. If you have not used Skype, when you talk with someone you see their face in the main screen and also your own face in the bottom left hand corner.
On Skype you see two faces on the screen as you talk with the other person. The client’s in the main screen and yours in a smaller section at the bottom left hand corner. In a normal therapy setting it would be like having a mirror sitting next to the client that reflected back the top half of your body. One is constantly receiving two images - the client and yourself. This, as you can imagine is a new set of circumstances in the counselling situation. Not many therapists have a mirror set up next to the client so they can see their own reflection whilst counselling. With Skype you do whether you want it or not.
What does this new ingredient mean for the counselling process and the therapeutic relationship? Well I have been known to possess some of the traits of the narcissistic personality. Only the good ones and not the bad ones I may add! Thus Skype counselling means I can look at my self through the hour long counselling session. The perfect counselling session for the narcissistic personality. This is a good thing one may think. But if one does that clients will quickly tire of such self absorption on behalf of the therapist and c’est la vie, go find a real job.
Me, myself and I in Belgrade
But what it does mean if I get to see an image of myself continually in the treatment process? I get to see what the client sees on a second by second basis. This gives me one source of information and also I get to see my behavioural reactions to the client on a second by second basis which is the second source of information.
In non Skype therapy I have three main sources of information.
1. Behavioural observations of the client as they talk
2. The content of what they are saying
3. My Child ego state intuitive feeling reactions to the client
With Skype one has more sources of information.
4. What the client is seeing second by second
5. What my behavioural reactions to the client are on a second by second basis
6. My Child ego state intuitive feeling reactions to my behavioural reactions to the client.
As you can imagine this was a veritable tsunami of new information as a therapist. Never before have I been privy to such information from the client’s perspective. At the outset it was kind of information overload.
How can I take in all this new information, let alone comprehend it and compute it for the client’s benefit. Instead of the familiar three sources of information all of a sudden it had doubled to six sources of information. Slowly one develops a new method of information processing which is what I am doing at this stage of this new method of counselling.
This is probably incomplete, in fact I can say it is definitely incomplete and it will be edited later. Tomorrow probably. It is friday night at 10.58pm and I have had 2 glasses of chardonnay. I know i shouldn’t but what the heck