Bringing Cyberspace into the Therapeutic Space Topic 2 – Integrating the Client’s Online Life into Therapy

The Well-Grounded Counsellor Series – Online CPD
Masterclasses in counselling practice for professional counsellors and those who counsel in their profession

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Integrating the Client’s Online Life into Therapy

We have all had a client whose phone constantly dings and pings with countless notifications throughout the session. The usual request is to turn off the distractions. Yet, have we dismissed a therapeutic opportunity that is hiding in plain sight?

By setting aside our client’s online lives, we discount a large part of what is relevant to them, what contributes to their relationships and the opportunity to make use of their digital connections as a resource. Let’s open a new range of possibilities and opportunities to facilitate a safer, more secure therapeutic relationship.

In this digital age, personalities extend into cyberspace in the form of personas, avatars, or aspects (‘cyber-selves’) that are compartmentalised and perhaps activated only in the perceived safety of a virtual environment.

If we recognise that these aspects are all attachment adaptations of various sorts, we open up a rich landscape which holds many more personality traits, stories, characteristics, and experiences than would otherwise be accessed. These additional personality resources are found on devices. Devices are the conduit to those otherwise hidden aspects of self.

Devices are also useful as tools to integrate and extend the work done in a therapy session into the client’s existence and experience outside the therapy space. How might we make use of social media postings as tools for reflection, rather than just projection?

As professionals, let’s invite the devices into the therapy space and explore how we can plug our clients’ digital connections into our therapeutic process. (For this masterclass, have your OWN device handy).

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