An investigation as part of a Major Undergraduate Project for BA Hons in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford. An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to understand the lived experience of others on Online Video Therapy: the impact of interruptions on the therapeutic process. Interruptions to clients’ virtual therapy space through 3rd parties or digital notifications.

In March 2020 the impact of the pandemic Covid-19 resulted in the necessity of pausing all of my current clients, as it was no longer safe to see them face to face as our country went into lockdown. In response to this I needed to adapt my way of working to be able to offer clients an alternative safe platform to access psychotherapy. The phenomenon of video being a platform to facilitate sessions became a steadfast and regular part of my practice and I soon settled down to regular online video sessions with Zoom as my synchronous real time online video foundation.

I was amazed at the benefits of offering online video could bring; the adaption and transition to online video for me has been productive and successful and is now a valuable and flourishing platform that I offer. But, yep there’s a but, a new phenomenon began to emerge; interruptions in the clients’ virtual therapy space. Despite my contracting stating that virtual therapy would require an uninterrupted and not overheard space, interruptions kept happening with various online clients: The “ignore me, pretend I’m not here” by one mum. The “sorry, I just need to get my shoes” by a sibling and the constant digital interruptions of clients’ texts, calls, WhatsApp’s and notifications.

I’m calling out for BACP registered counsellors/psychotherapists to share their experiences of interruptions and how they feel it may impact the therapeutic process.

What will participants be required to do?

One online video interview via Zoom to explore their experience of interruptions in the virtual therapy space and the impact on the therapeutic process. A Zoom email invitation will be sent to the participant to connect virtually at pre-agreed day and time. It is beneficial but not necessary to for your virtual interview space to be private without interruptions and for you to provide any relevant materials such as water, pen paper etc. The interviews will be recorded and up to an hour long but can end at any point during that hour. Interview questions will be offered to bring some structure and direction the interview wholly based on the psychotherapists experience, perspectives and opinions of interruptions.

To participate you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • A current registered member of the BACP
  • Over 18
  • Currently in practice in Great Britain
  • Have a minimum of 100 hours online counselling/psychotherapy experience.

If you think this is something that may be of interested to you, I would be delighted to hear from you on;

After which I will send you further details on the project, ethical considerations and participant information.

Angie Boden MBACP (Accred)