185 – Choosing Online Therapy Platforms for Therapists
The Women Who Changed Counselling – Working with Eating Disorders
Episode 185 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast begins with Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly discussing influential women in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. ‘Digital Counselling Revolution’ then looks at how to choose online therapy platforms for therapists. Last, Rory speaks with counsellor Bernie Wright about working with clients who have eating disorders.
The Women Who Changed Counselling (starts at 1.25 mins)
In honour of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Ken and Rory look at influential women in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.
The history of counselling and psychotherapy can seem to be dominated by men, but many women have made significant contributions to counselling theory and practice. Ken and Rory talk about the work of:
- Jessie Taft, who helped develop the person-centred approach
- Laura Perls, who was an important gestalt psychotherapist
- Petruska Clarkson, who proposed the idea of intersubjectivity
- Anna Freud, who looked at the fantasy lives of infants from birth
- Melanie Klein, who worked extensively on child analysis
- Margaret Mahler, who came up with separation–individuation theory
- Francine Shapiro, who invented EMDR
- Margaret Warner, who developed the concept of fragile process
A number of female clients and relatives were also particularly influential.
You can download a handout on the women who changed counselling here or through Counselling Study Resource (CSR).
Choosing Online Therapy Platforms for Therapists (starts at 14.25 mins)
Online & Telephone Counselling Book
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Working online requires us to use online therapy platforms to communicate with our clients. Are you certain that yours is appropriate and secure?
While working by telephone may appear to be more straightforward in security terms than working via a video-conferencing platform, this may use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Which platform is right for your practice and clients?
Rory and Ken advise against certain online therapy platforms that are owned by social-media companies, and that you should always read the terms and conditions – and licence agreement – very carefully for any software or platform you use.
In particular, you should read the provider’s Data Processing Agreement (DPA). The Information Commissioner’s Office requires providers to have a DPA in order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation.
When looking for online therapy platforms for therapists, do be wary of free platforms, and take a good look at the difference between free and paid versions of the same platform: you may not have to pay much to gain greatly in terms of security and features.
Last but not least, don’t assume that once you’ve read the DPA, that’s that: the provider is likely to make changes to this, and it’s vital to keep up-to-date with these.
Working with Eating Disorders (starts at 20.30 mins)
Rory talks with Bernie Wright, who has recorded a lecture on working with clients who have disordered eating for Counsellor CPD (our online library of lectures for qualified practitioners of counselling and psychotherapy).
Bernie notes that GPs may not be well informed on eating disorders, since little time is dedicated to this topic at medical school. She describes how counsellors in this specialist field are overwhelmed by the volume of referrals, making it an area you may wish to consider training in.
It would not be ethical to take on clients presenting with eating disorders without such training. It is not uncommon for clients initially to present with anxiety and/or depression but then to reveal eating disorders once therapy has begun: again, it is vital to be prepared.
Bernie notes that if clients are not feeding their body, mind and soul, then personal change is very difficult. This important specialism requires knowledge relating to both the physiology and the psychology of eating disorders. Another key feature is multidisciplinary working, for example, to include a nutritionist.
Free Handout Download
The Women Who Changed Counselling