Are Skype sessions really effective?
How it all started
From a long time I received requests for sessions from around the world to conduct sessions via Skype. However since I had never done it, and was convinced that in order to help someone it has to be face to face in person, I rejected such requests. However, few years ago, one special request from a friend, living overseas, who was in dire need changed my mind.
My friend let’s call him Javier, send me an email asking me to help him overcome his phobia of flying. He had three weeks to the departure date and was terrified to travel by air. He had suffered generalized anxiety. I had no choice but to try it, after all he was my friend and had no one to turn to. Even though I had severe doubts about the efficacy of Skype sessions, I agreed.
In total we had three sessions, one per week. After he landed, he sent me a text message that most of the flight he was relaxed and that he slept a lot!
This case smashed all my prejudices against Skype sessions. All my doubts about online help vanished. I was elated because I could help so many people that kept writing to me from around the world. But first I had to be sure and put it to tests with different cases and different cultures. So I began to experiment with other cases that were not my friends from across the world. I was much surprised that in terms of efficacy, there was no difference between Skype and in person sessions.
That was a breakthrough! I decided to do some research about online sessions. I discovered that there has been plenty of research studies examining internet-based treatment for anxiety and phobias. Here are some examples:
- Clinical researchers from the University of Zurich has shown scientific evidence for online therapy is just as efficient as conventional one.
- In this press release from the University of Zurich, the author of the study Professor Andreas Maercker expains that the effects of online therapy may even last longer than face-to-face therapy.
- Another study showed the benefits of internet-based help for depression.
- Dr. Gerhard Andersson, professor of clinical psychology from Linkoping University in Sweden, is recognised as one of the pioneers in the development of internet-based treatment. Professor Andersson was one of the first researchers in the world to study the effectiveness of online therapy and says that “several studies show that this type of therapy works just as well as meeting a psychologist face to face“.
- This metanalysis looked at several studies with a total of 9,764 clients who were treated through various Internet-based therapeutic treatments for a variety of problems and showed that the effectiveness to be quite similar to the traditional face-to-face therapy.
So I realized that several studies have shown solid evidence for the effectiveness of online therapy with results comparable to face to face type of therapeutic office setting.
Although client and I may be thousands of miles apart, it really feels like we are in the same room. This service is much practical for people living in rural areas or even in the remotest parts of the planet. Moreover there are people who are unable to leave home for one reason or another. Whether for physical disability or even in some cases for people who suffer agoraphobia, who are afraid of leaving their homes, online sessions are an easy alternative.
Skype Therapy sessions give you more options
If you wish and if you feel more comfortable, you can use the sound only when having therapy with me and not turn on your webcam. This option allows you to hear and interact with me on your terms without being seen. For some people suffering from anxiety, this is a less stressful option when talking about personal issues.
Of course you can use your web-cam to visually interact. Most people prefer this way of communicating as it gives them a similar experience to the customary in-person sessions.
About the payment
I offer free email consultation so that you can ask questions about whether I can help you or not, as well as about the process. You have the opportunity to describe the problem in detail before actually starting the therapy.
Although some professionals ask you to pay before hand, I believe it is good practice to receive my honorarium after the session. Payments are made after each session using the most secure online service: PayPal
All payments are made securely via Paypal using your debit or credit card. Making your payment is simply a matter of clicking a secure Paypal link that you will receive after each session. All you have to do is to follow the online instructions. You do not need to have an account with Paypal.
How to download Skype free
Skype.com allows you download their program free of charge to make Skype video calls. It’s easy to set up and it takes just few minutes. Practically every laptop has a built in video-camera and microphone. Otherwise you can buy a very inexpensive video-camera that connects via the USB port.
All sessions are one on one with Arthur Rowshan.
My user name is hesam.rowshan.
If you are experiencing any kind of medical emergency, you should contact your physician immediately. Online sessions are not a substitute for the medical treatment. I do not practice psychotherapy. My methodology focuses on teaching you skills and strategies to overcome your problem in the shortest time.