29 Oct 2018

BY: Anna Keyter

Couple Counselling / Marriage Counselling / Relationship Counselling / Skype Counselling

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Relationship Counselling using Skype

Relationship counselling using Skype:

Online Therapy provides relationship counselling using Skype or Zoom.  Generally, relationship counselling is initiated by a partner when a couple struggles to deal with issues on their own.  Couples counselling, (sometimes referred to as marriage therapy) deals with problems and conflicts that arise in the relationship.  However, relationship therapy is not only between couples; it could also be with a family member or friend.  It is possible to receive relationship counselling using Skype, provided that the couple has a private place to talk to the therapist.

Theory: Relationship Therapy

From the Online Therapy perspective, our theoretical model mainly focuses on attachment theory and is possible to apply in relationship counselling using Skype. In other words, we believe that emotional and physical attachments to at least one caregiver is required for successful personal development in children. In approximately six to ten sessions, we will explore your childhood attachments to find out how it affects your current relationships.

Attachment Styles

Based on Ainsworth et al., (1978) four main attachment styles affect how adults react to others based on their experiences as a child.  Attachment styles develop when a baby is between zero and three years of age.

Secure (autonomous)

A secure attachment is formed when a baby receives sufficient nurturing and affection.  Furthermore, babies cannot self-soothe, they receive soothing from their parents (mainly the mother), which makes the child feel comfortable and loved.  Hence, a child learns that his/her world is safe.  As an adult, this person can securely attach to a partner, easily form close friendships and is dependable in turn.  This person will not avoid difficult situations (address them maturely without fear of rejection) and will be low on anxiety.

Avoidant (dismissive)

When a baby’s needs are not met, i.e. trained to sleep alone very early (crying until asleep) without his/her distress being responded to, as an adult this person will be uncomfortable with someone getting too close. For instance, they believe their primary caregivers rejected them, their needs were not met, and they experience the world not trusting others. In the long run, parents who encourage such independence teach the child that it is NOT ok to need someone.  As adults, they are self-contained and become emotionally unavailable (avoidant/dismissive).

Anxious (Preoccupied/ambivalent)

At times, parents are inconsistent in their reaction to children. One moment, they may respond in a nurturing manner, but other times they could be insensitive or intrusive. Consequently, this parenting style confuses children and makes them feel insecure because the child does not know what behaviour to expect from the parent. As adults, they seek extreme emotional closeness and often worry that they are not loved, they may also feel abandoned.

Anxious/Avoidant (Unresolved)

Physically or emotionally abused children are consistently in survival mode.  With this in mind, the world is a terrifying place for this child.  As an adult, they do not feel safe in relationships.  In other words, as much as they crave closeness, they run away when someone gets too close.  For this reason, these adults are uncomfortable with commitment but long for a close relationship.

Conclusion

As has been noted, attachment styles formed in childhood give us a glimpse into how a child will react to adult relationships.  For further reading on attachment styles Ainsworth et al., (1978) provide useful insight into child attachment development.

References

Ainsworth MD, Blehar M, Waters E, Wall S (1978). Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

To find out more about Relationship counselling using Skype, feel free to complete the contact form below and we will get back to you.

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30 Jul 2018

BY: Anna Keyter

Online Counselling / Online Counsellor / Online Skype Counselling / Online therapist / Online Therapy / Skype Counselling

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Online Skype Counselling

Online Skype Counselling:

Not all medical healthcare schemes accept Online Skype Counselling. However, the American Medical Association allows reimbursements for Skype or online consultations.  The American Psychological Association (APA) labels Online Skype Counselling Telepsychology. Skype counselling is no longer considered to be the future of psychological services; it has become part of daily mental health care.  As a result, Skype counsellors living in the 21st century are evolving with the times and are starting to include online counselling as part of their practice. Technology is playing an essential role in interdisciplinary health care including mental health.  As with face to face mental health practice, it is up to the individual professional to provide a satisfactory service by following the relevant professional code of conduct.

Online Skype Counselling Quality

But what constitutes good quality mental health care on the Skype platform?  Skype or video counselling may be an excellent outlet for individuals who have agoraphobia, social phobia or shyness.  Some may argue that Skype counselling could reinforce such behaviour. However, the most critical part of the counselling process is the therapeutic alliance which can be established during Skype counselling by a trained professional.  Furthermore, Skype counselling provides a platform for those who would otherwise not have access to mental health services.

Goals of Online Skype Counselling

When considering the future of the Online Skype Counsellor, Lehoux, Battista and Lance (2000) suggest that the focus should not only be on technology but also sociopolitics.  For this reason, they provided a framework for analysis using constructs such as actors (professionals, clients, families, manufacturers, third parties and administrators), the flow of resources (funding and reimbursement strategies), knowledge (who makes the rules?), and power (who controls it?).  On the practical level, Lehoux, Battista and Lance (2000) recommend that online counselling meet four primary goals for the service to be useful:

  1. Reduction in transportation for client and providers
  2. Reaching underserved populations
  3. Understanding client and service provider
  4. Countering rural isolation
Our Practice

While many studies reveal that face to face counselling is still the prefered method of intervention, the clients of Online Therapy prefer Skype or Video counselling.  As a result, the Online Therapy practice is contacted almost exclusively for Skype Counselling services.  The main reasons stated for the preference is the convenience and affordability.

Want to learn more?  Feel free to email info@onlinetherapy.co.nz or give us a call +(64) 9 888 0779.

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