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Re: Skype, divans and analysts... wittgensteinz

Posted by vwoolf on September 26, 2010, at 7:24:52

In reply to Re: Skype, divans and analysts... vwoolf, posted by wittgensteinz on September 26, 2010, at 4:17:23

Funny how the microscopic details become so important where everything is being analysed.

Well, to answer your questions:

> Do you always have your sessions in the same place/room?

The first two or three sessions I felt very self-conscious, and decided that I needed to keep things quite formal. I set my computer up at a desk in the lounge and we talked from there. He was travelling at the time and the sessions were early in the morning for me - at about 8am, I think, and evening for him. I got up really early to wash my hair and be dressed and ready and made up and looking 'proper'. It was winter here and the house was very cold and dark at the time (we don't use central heating here), so I made myself some coffee and a hot water bottle and bundled myself up in a coat and scarf and shivered through the session.

After the first few sessions he returned to the US and we then started having sessions at about 6pm for me and mornings for him. That is a time when there are other people around my house, so I decided to 'move' the sessions to my bedroom, where I have my computer on another desk. It feels more private and intimate here. I know no-one can hear me and I have instructed everyone not to come in. My analyst did not comment on the change of room, and I have not spoken about it. I did worry at first that he would read all sorts of meanings into the new venue but I have preferred to just leave it for the moment. I rather prudishly angle the webcam so that it misses the bed and looks out of the window instead, so perhaps he thinks it's just my study.

I had actually already met him a few years ago - he had come here for two weeks as a visiting analyst, and we had got to know each other quite well. I had attended his seminars and we had had meals together and been for long walks. He had even come to a party at my house at the time, so I knew when I set up my webcam in the lounge that it was like inviting him into a room he already knew, and that felt comfortable to me.

I suppose I started out trusting him quite a lot, and trust hasn't really been an issue between us. But perhaps that is because I had worked through the trust issues already with my previous therapist. It's not that I don't have resistences and feelings of shame with him; it's just that I can see very quickly that they belong to me and have nothing really to do with him. He feels really accepting and kind.

> How does the absence of a 'physical presence' add to/take away from the therapy? No hand shakes I guess! Cyber hand-shakes maybe! I guess it could be less intimidating in a way - easier to say what you really feel while knowing there is no risk of it ever being acted upon.

Well, of course no handshakes, but then I never had those with my therapist either - she had very strict boundaries. I think the physical presence comes across with skype quite well. It certainly doesn't feel like a problem to me. He feels physically close, but perhaps that is because I already know him quite well. It might be more difficult if I had never met him. But actually, now that I think about it more carefully, it still probably wouldn't be a problem. The closeness is through the eyes, through the voice, through the sense of being understood, through his kindness and enthusiasm.

> I wonder if anyone has written a book on this?

It would be fascinating to read about other people's experiences. Let me know if you come across any other stories about this.




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