Virtual, hybrid, online, distance: the words which have become so commonplace yet the talked about distance has also brought us closer in many ways. A global pandemic has transitioned millions of business owners and their staff into a virtual world, a new way of working which is conducted via the copious technological platforms that enables us to somewhat effortlessly reach clients, customers and suppliers far and wide. Social media marketing and lucrative sales with less expenditures are the new welcomed norm for many.
Ms LJ Jones, a British international Psychotherapist and wellness business owner based in Bangkok, informs us how, surprisingly, this has also become a platform for Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and a new wave of Hybrid Healers around the world. She takes us back to a not so distant history when Mental Health Practitioners would only conduct their sessions with clients in the traditionally formal manner, similar to that which we have seen in movies, minus the unrealistic images of clients sprawling on a fancy sofa, she states.
For many Practitioners, there was never an anticipated shift from their holistic, therapeutically designed offices, to providing sessions through a computer, or even mobile phone screen, however, Ms Jones excitedly shares that she and her clients are now hugely benefiting from ‘Virtual Therapy’ in voluminous ways.
Therapeutic relationships can be formed between Therapist and Clients globally, thus people in need of mental health support are becoming increasingly aware of, even preferential to choosing virtual therapy for reasons such as having social anxiety or limited transport resources to attend sessions with their preferred Therapist. Sadly, social and general anxieties are at an all time high as the world has been trapped in a collective and prolonged uncertainty, therefore being able to access a chosen
Therapist online is a very safe and non-compromising option for such clients. This also means that people are no longer beholden to choosing a Therapist based on geographical limitations, which in turn is allowing for exciting and effective choices being made on a global scale. Ms Jones is testament to this as she now provides online therapy from her home in Bangkok to clients around Thailand, including remote tropical islands whereby people would usually struggle to receive the mental health support they desperately require, as well as having weekly sessions with clients in the UK, USA, Australia, China, and Dubai.
- Practitioners who once felt fearful of losing their clients, and therefore their income when international lockdowns became apparent in March 2020, have now exceeded their usual client base and earnings by providing online Therapy through platforms such as Google meet, Skype, and Zoom which eliminates outgoings previously accumulated by travel and renting appropriate office spaces.
- Marketing has never been so cost effective as, additionally to the usual professional advertising platforms for Therapists, many now advertise their services through Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and other wonderful corners of the internet.
- Therapists have also advocated how technology is encouraging their ethical duties to ongoing professional development and efficacy. There is an ever-growing online world of priced and free mental health workshops, webinars and courses to expand on their skills and knowledge to best educate themselves in order to serve clients from diverse backgrounds and presenting with a multitude of challenges.
- Ms Jones speaks passionately about networking with other mental health professionals in a global capacity and delights about how this can be done by simply arranging video calls and conferences, yet this has enormous positive benefits for both mental health workers and their clients. Therapists who once had a small circle of other trusted Practitioners in their field, are now supporting, inspiring and being inspired by other mental health professionals around the world. She continues to share how this feels both empowering and safe for Therapists as their role was once a more isolated one with just their monthly casework supervision and a few likeminded people in the same role, now they can reach out and branch out more than ever anticipated.
- Ms Jones states that she has felt huge relief on a personal and professional level to have been able to continue working with her trusted Counselling supervisor since 2014 since she has lived around the corner from her in the UK, and by the use of Zoom whilst working and travelling around China and now Thailand.
Of course, many of these facilities were birthed pre-pandemic, however most of the beforementioned technological approaches to therapy would have been incomprehensible to the majority of Therapists even just a few short years ago. The ‘having to work from home’ has evidently transitioned into ‘preferring to work from home’ and for reasons including all of the above business possibilities and strengths for both Therapists and their Clients.
Another factor she discusses is that the new wave of young people seeking therapy are the generation which has lived in no other world other than the one of technology, thus as unplanned as it may have been: seemingly therapists are modernising their world in a timely fashion to meet the style of therapy the new generation of adults are au fait with.
What commenced as a temporary ‘working from home’ era, also known as ‘stay home, stay safe’ in many countries, soon sparked into lightbulb moments for CEOs and other Professionals that they could use this new wave of technological facilitation for the greater good. For the masses who have sadly been detrimentally impacted: countless others have discovered empowerment through technology within their realms.
How utterly wonderful to sift life-changing positives from life-changing negatives, she beams.
My name is LJ Jones, and I am a British international Psychotherapist, the founder of ‘Design Your Destiny’ which is an international Counselling and Wellness company that provides one-to-one and family Therapy sessions, and hosts sensational Women’s Retreats in luxurious Thai destinations.
My upcoming memoir with a self-help twist is due to be launched in the spring of 2022, and I am currently revelling in the promotion of my book by being interviewed on podcasts and recently on an American radio station.
I currently live and operate my company in Bangkok after spending a year working in Beijing and travelling around China with my eleven-year-old daughter.
Meet LJ Jones: