Psychotherapy online and privacy

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Jul 2, 2021

During COVID-19 psychotherapeutic sessions have been done via teletherapy. It is difficult for the therapist to control the surroundings in which he/she is working in then. My counsellor has been working at home and when she calls her children are in the background. They are crying and making other noises. It is very distracting and I do not feel that I have privacy when I am speaking with her. I feel that she should respect my privacy and is more or less violating my right to privacy. I also think it unprofessional of her. Wouldn't others feel the same way if their psychotherapist did that? What would they do? I do not think this behavior should be allowed!

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@lsittll, COVID and the move to more virtual settings has opened doors in medicine and given the opportunity for therapy visits from the comfort of your own home. This was unthinkable only months ago. But as you underline in your message, there are significant drawbacks. Not all therapists are able to return to the office spaces and are working out of their homes. Depending on their living spaces, they may have to contend with distractions. Is it professional? Maybe not.

In addition to feeling like your privacy may be at risk, it's distracting for both of you. Have you discussed your concerns with her? Might it be possible to find out when she has appointments available when her family is not at home or if she also conducts appointments from an office? Sounds like it's time for an honest chat both for your comfort and privacy, and to get the undivided attention you deserve.

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@colleen young my therapist finally asked me to change the time of day when we met to when she spoke with other clients. I chose to have the appointments at 10:15pm because her children were in bed then. She also wanted me to change the time because she constantly forgot to call me. If something would occur at the last minute she would not contact me and let me know she could not have a therapy session. Now those two things I feel are unprofessional for sure! I never discussed any of my concerns with her. She said so many inappropriate things. I got tired of it. So I "fired" her. My psychiatric nurse practitioner says I must be comfortable with my counselor and I must get the counseling.

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