Flexibility to suit you!
I've got well over a decade's experience BC (Before Covid!) of making phone and online sessions as connecting and as effective as meeting with me in person. I'm used to navigating different time zones, and whether you're speaking with me from your desk, sofa, balcony, local park or cafe, there are many ways we can capitalise on online or phone sessions to fit really well with the context of your life – in when, where and how we collaborate. You can have sessions at very flexible times, from 8.30am - 8.30pm mon - fri, space permitting.
Choosing the right approach for you
If you’re unsure about whether phone or online sessions are right for you, I encourage you to 'experiment' with these options for one session to discover for yourself how you can capitalise on these mode of working.
Two things everyone wants to know:
Is the experience as connecting?
Yes, I make sure it is! An authentic, engaging and positive connection are key parts of what makes good therapy great, so I always help this to flow, in a way that works for you. I'd like you to have a good chuckle with me too - human to human - it helps with so many things, eh?!
And if you choose video off for any of your sessions, you have the advantage of being able to easily flow between sitting, walking and lying down in your sessions to help you connect with yourself in different ways too.
Are online and phone sessions as effective as face to face?
Research from both therapy and coaching fields says a clear YES - with surprisingly few exceptions. There are several factors as to why this is but in particular, the consistent feedback from my clients is that: being in a more "every day environment" makes it easier to link up learning from sessions into everyday scenarios - including straight after sessions.
Specific CBT and EMDR Research
CBT: Meticulous research into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy models over the last 15 years has consistently demonstrated that CBT online, CBT by phone and CBT in person are all equally effective for the vast majority of issues, as each method has different but equal advantages.
EMDR: Research has been demonstrating the effectiveness of online EMDR for trauma and PTSD since 2013. Globally, Covid has escalated this research (and my opportunities to participate in seminars from all over the world!) to ensure online EMDR sessions are held with optimum attention to safety, attunement, presence and connection.
Recent research has even been demonstrating that EMDR can be delivered very effectively over the phone, camera off, which I'm very happy to offer once I know someone is able to use this way of working in a way that feels genuinely beneficial and safe.
Do please book in for a free consultation if you’d like to ask me about the how and why of this, I’m very excited about sharing more!
I valued the freedom I felt in phone sessions with Eleanor. I could sit and write for a bit, then walk about, sometimes stretch, or even lie down with my eyes closed to properly go inside. I used to struggle with knowing what I really needed, but now Eleanor has introduced me to these different ways of tuning in to my body and my deeper thoughts and feelings”
Some key advantages of phone and online sessions
Helping you when you need it most
Alongside the obvious convenience advantages of phone and online sessions, my clients consistently comment on the benefits of having more choice on the context in which we do our teamwork, and the greater immediacy of phone or online sessions in their everyday settings.
For example, it's easy to schedule in a phone or online session to help you prepare for an important interview, exam or meeting, to handle an unexpected crisis, or repair a conflict that unintentionally broke out. Just ping me a quick text and we can schedule in a call of whatever length fits time available.
Support right there in the thick of things
Working with me on the phone - with video on or off - means I can support you literally in the very midst of your personally challenging scenarios, such as a hospital appointment or visit, a family “holiday”, or work trip abroad. This way I can help you face your fears with more courage, determination, wisdom and insight when you're in the thick of it.
Feeling like we're alone in difficult or anxiety provoking situations often makes things extra hard. I can be right there with you.
You may find it's easier to transfer insights and skills from a phone or online session straight into the rest of your life because there's a stronger sense of our teamwork happening from within your everyday places. No one’s ever said “therapy feels like in its own separate bubble and not like the real world" about phone or online sessions!
I'm very used to people calling me from all over the globe, from their homes or hotels, work spaces or gardens or local communities - video off or on – and sometimes “taking me with them” on their way to the airport, dentist (even to the supermarket - ahem - IF that’s relevant to a therapy goal!!)
Enhanced memory for skills tools and techniques!
For CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Coaching sessions, phone sessions, without eye contact, sitting somewhere you can focus, makes it particularly straightforward for you to write more detailed notes. This means it’s much easier for you to recollect the many insights, tools and strategies I'd love to share with you. This is important as research shows that without note taking, the human brain tends to forget a whopping 80-90% of what gets talked about in an hour!! Sheesh! If you're at home, great, you can stick post-its straight up in some visible places as a memory aid.
Easier to be honest about some things
We’ve all got some topic areas that are harder to speak about than others. It may be that there’s no way you’d want to talk about some things without being able to see my response, while others you might sense it could be a relief to begin to speak about them without having to make any eye contact with me, and perhaps to release some nervous energy by doodling, stretching or pottering about. I’m a firm believer in allowing the body to express itself too.
Safer trauma therapy and easier after-care
A huge advantage of doing EMDR and trauma healing work in your own home is that you don't need to navigate streets, strangers or transport after a session, and you can use that time instead to do something soothing or re-energising - whether that’s having a nap, shower or run, putting on your fave comedian or a “living-room disco”! You're welcome to do this work from any room in your house you feel safe and comfortable in.
For trauma therapy sessions, using a laptop screen where we can both see each other easily is best. I have ultrafast broadband, but if your reception is patchy, we can see each other on our laptop screens (mic off) while we talk over the phone, which works great - it means you can stay connected with me AND take fresh air or movement breaks whenever you want to.
Help to access a deeper inner wisdom
Many of my clients want to reduce worry and indecision, and instead learn how to access a deeper inner wisdom, perhaps one that includes their heart or gut-instinct and intuition more fully. Given that scientifically, intuition and instinct refer to neurobiological processes that operate through our cardiovascular, intestinal, and neuro-muscular systems faster than the cognitive mind can create linear sentences into conscious reasoning, this is far from woo-woo! All living organisms have multiple inbuilt information systems to survive and thrive, but many of us have not been helped to trust the intelligent awareness of our whole being – in fact quite the opposite.
It’d be great to help you get skilled at tuning into your deeper wisdom, intuition and “body felt” sense of knowing your needs. Working with me on the phone, somewhere that feels safe and private, without the distraction of eye contact can be a good way of practicing paying more deliberate attention to your inner sensing. I can help guide you though specific Mindfulness practices or the Gendlin method of Focussing, for example, as stepping stones to getting more confident about paying attention to your body’s knowing and its rapid data processing signals – to inform better decision making, and honouring what is right for you.
Not sure yet? Have a free taster consultation on the phone with me.
Try and understand what part you have to play in the world in which you live. There’s more to life than you know and its all happening out there. Discover what part you can play and go for it”
Walk and talk sessions – while you’re on the phone or online
Walking somewhere that's quiet means you can get the benefits of fresh air and movement not only for obvious holistic wellbeing, but also because, specifically, fresh air and walking in nature has been shown in research to significantly enhance problem solving and finding effective solutions more rapidly. Of course sometimes you may sense that being “out out” (!) may be too distracting for you, although if you’ve got a balcony or garden, you could see what that offers you - taking a hot water bottle, blanket and a flask of tea while you’re at it!. The great thing about working virtually is that it’s so flexible so you can tune into what you need when your session time comes.
We're used to hearing that we need practice daily 'Mindfulness' and 'meditation' for our mental health, but a lot of people are put off by all sorts of misinformation about mindfulness such as needing to sit in silence. It really doesn’t have to be that way! I have 18 years of mindfulness practice and can teach you how to apply very quick strategies to get present, centred and grounded anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
One particularly useful – and surprisingly enjoyable – way to learn how to be more present is by heading out "round the block"! For sure, it'll give you plenty of opportunities to practice relating to the world around you with more relaxed and expanded awareness! By learning to be more attentive of our ordinary realities - rather than getting overwhelmed and shutting them out as 'too much', or dismissing them as meaningless and mundane - we can move through life with more ease and curiosity, playfulness and appreciation.
Research into brain performance
Whatever issues are on your mind, you’ve probably found that when you’re in nature, you get a calmer and fresher perspective. You might well have read the research that shows people do better in performance related scenarios such as exams when they've first gone walking outside for 20 minutes. Research demonstrates that a) walking and b) even better, walking outdoors, specifically enhances people's perspective taking and problem solving skills, and the body's ability to better regulate stress hormones. We can capitalise on this together! Portable EEG machines show that our central nervous systems have multiple beneficial shifts in response to walking outside and simply being outdoors, which makes very good sense in terms of human evolution that hasn't yet adapted well to sedentary indoor lifestyles that our body-mind-brain is typically forced to adopt by contemporary "norms". Feel free to NOT make your sessions with me another sitting space!
Connecting with nature
I’m trained as an Eco-therapist (finally it’s on trend!), which means I can help you connect more deeply with nature - wherever you live. We are of course not separate from nature – we are a part of nature, so reconnecting to it can help us feel a lot less isolated, and experience more of a sense of belonging to, and support from the Earth, when we tune in with both the profound and practical daily realities of this.
Nature gives things meaning
In nature things are always growing out of things that have fallen. The parallels between our own living experience and what is living, maturing decaying, dying and being transformed into something else all around us in nature can help us make more sense of the different aspects and “seasons” of our lives – with both real and metaphorical meaning - especially when we pause to really look.
Nature helps us shift perspectives
I work with many people who long to slow down, stop judging themselves and be more accepting of life as it is. In our speeded up, digitally focused culture, its easy to get sucked in to a very distorted view of how we “should” look, how we “should” act, and how much we “should” be getting done. What could be a wiser teacher about breaking free from this fiction than nature that never rushes, never judges and simply is what it is?
Many more people are trying to be aware of the biases that we have all internalised from historical and current socio-cultural influences. This is hard when we are inevitably surrounded by a barrage of social constructs. Being or "bimbling" in nature can give us a much needed chance to have a far bigger step back "from all of that" (social media, news, netflix, work emails etc etc) and from within this space, to discern our own intuition and authentic voice -or learn how to.
Having sessions outdoors were so helpful to my ability to relax and be myself—it's easier to be more natural when out in nature and I find it really clears my head. Going on a stroll in my local park or just bimbling about in my garden while we chatted about important stuff over the phone—sometimes camera off and sometimes on—was a really good way to get the best out of me. Getting fresh air in my sessions helped me get to better ideas sooner! It also helped me to feel more energised and as a result, more motivated to do other new and practical things towards my goals. ”