So here we go again! just when some of us thought it might be safe enough to emerge from the depths of our computers and back into face to face therapy, we enter lockdown 3, which has propelled those of us who had furtively ventured back into our consulting rooms, scuttling back home and onto zoom once again.

Providing therapy on zoom pre-Covid, is not something I would ever have entertained. For a start the only zoom I had even heard of was that delicious rocket shaped ice-lolly covered in hundreds and thousands I regularly enjoyed back in my youth, and on discovering it now referred to a tv-like appearance where a two way communication was possible, I had not the slightest on how to set up this new tech. If this wasn’t nervy enough, the thought of trying to connect with another human being ('being connected' on zoom seems to have developed a whole new meaning!) and all the subtle therapy cues which was therapy as I knew it could be lost, would have flied in the face of everything I believed to be ‘right’ about therapy and would have felt unimaginable. I would have been one of those defiant campaigners at the forefront of thwarting every attempt at hauling the therapy profession into what would have felt like an ‘ungodly’ direction.

The new norms in the 'zoom' vocabulary we are now so accustomed to has been like having a new language thrust upon us, “Can you hear me, I can hear you, good, looks like we’ve connected” often drifting into.. “you’ve frozen, just missed a few seconds there…”. This is without the ‘waiting room’ scenario of having to ‘admit’ clients at the chosen time… if, of course, they have actually managed to find their way in.

On a more serious note though, it must have been pretty unsettling for clients to accommodate this new way of seeing their therapist and experiencing their therapy. Suddenly losing the rituals of parking the car, walking into the therapy centre and physically waiting to be collected before being lead up the stairs and into the physical and emotional sanctuary we call the therapy room. These essential anxiety reducing ceremonial practices have allowed clients to separate therapy life from the rest of their life and then, Bang! their therapist is intruding into the privacy of their own home, hijacking their living room or study, and perhaps even posing a very real threat of being exposed to the rest of their family. I cannot imagine how this must feel - how does one adjust to this?

But here we are and here I am, doing just that, zooming just about everyone who is amenable - and some who are less amenable and it seems to be working ok… for now anyway. In fact, I’ve surpassed my own perceived capabilities in embracing the world of remote communicating and am now the proud owner of a portal system to connect with the family remotely too. Yes me, and I am getting the hang of how to use it all too, not quite fully mastered the technical on and off switch just yet, but I am well on the way…


Jane Langley,
Psychodynamic Psychotherapist