Does online therapy work?…….. I will talk about my personal experience ,as therapists we have to have ongoing Personal therapy.
So I wanted to understand if i am going to offer online therapy What It Feels Like to be a client with online therapy.
So I found my online therapist I was nervous and skeptical at first but what I found going forward with online therapy is how relaxed I felt in my own environment.
I made myself a coffee got a glass of water, settled myself on my sofa put my heating on put my cushions around me lots of things that made me feel safe and familiar and so I Began my therapy.
for anybody going to therapy there are lots of anxiety and that doesn’t change just because you’re a therapist, so I was quite nervous, I was nervous in case it didn’t work, in case I didn’t get to really engage with my therapist, these fears were quickly dispelled it just felt so relaxed and so warm.
what I found interesting is after I finished therapy I could just sit there in the moment I don’t have to leave the office I didn’t have to rush out anywhere I could just sit and be in my own environment, if I was emotional I could just be emotional, if I was ok I could just be ok, if I wanted to feel angry I could just feel angry, but I was within my own safe environment.
So from this experience I offered online therapy I work with couples and individuals who struggle with relationships, having used online therapy, albeit in a small way, with the post within the NHS, one of my major concerns was, would this Translate over a camera working with a couple as I do relationship work, and it does I work with couples now on line I work with individuals online and it does feel more relaxed clients seem to be more relaxed in their own environment, the couples I can say seem to feel more at ease they don’t have to think about babysitters they don’t have to think about driving here or how it will affect their evening.
online therapy can take place anywhere you can be at work you can be on holiday you can be travelling on train it can be anywhere it can me and your home it can be in your bed when you wake up in the morning it can be done if your dining table it can be in the garden during the summer it can be anywhere you want it to be where you feel safe and you feel comfortable.
you don’t have to think about parking you don’t have to think about driving you don’t have to think about babysitters you do not have to think about going out in the cold you don’t have to think about fitting it in before you shoot off to work you don’t have to think about fitting in before you can pick the children up.
but one of the most important things for me with online therapy is the processing after, ,it is the being able to sit and just be, no driving, no feeling you have to box up this emotion now, and get on with the rest of your day you can process this immediately you can decide to go and have a hot bath, you can decide to just sit and be emotional, you can decide to go to the gym, go for a run, or go upstairs leisurely getting ready to go to work .
Online therapy works because you can make it work for you can fit it in with your lifestyle you have more opportunities you have quicker access to therapies you can go anywhere you can go up and down the country to find a therapist that suits you, There are lots of different modalities there are lots of different therapists to choose from.
So for instance if you live in Brentwood where my face to face practice is, you could be confined to just working with therapists in this area, because of work, home, children, and schools. working online you can work with somebody who is based in Scotland, you can work with somebody who is based in London, anywhere the choice is yours and I think the more choice you have the better experience you will have with therapy .
For instance my therapist is based in Preston and I chose him for lots of reasons but one of the reasons is I’m a Northern lass, living in Essex and I want to choose a Northern therapist, ironically the therapist I chose is somebody who comes from Essex just happens to live in Preston.
so what I’m saying is online therapy has a massive place given the life Styles we all lead, and I can honestly say it has proved to be very beneficial for me and for the clients I’m working with.
if you would like to consider it I offer a free 30-minute full session we could we could turn this into a 30 minute Skype session and see if it suits you and see if you like how it works so why not give me a call give me a text and see if we can work together.
So here we are valentines is here again. We are single, we choose to be single, or someone chooses it for us. Either way this is one day in the year, it shines a light on us. Restaurants, flower shops, supermarkets all talk about the romance and beauty of being a couple.
Lots of couples put enormous pressure on themselves to be all and everything to their partners, the world sales for valentines alone is in excess of £1.1bn sales based on 2018 (www.retailgazette.co.uk).
We can see here the pressure to not only celebrate valentines, but also the pressure to feel part of a couple, this can feel lonely and lead to desperate measures to obtain a partner in time for valentines.
This is set to be the busiest weekend for traffic towards dating sites. With people joining rising by 75%.
If you have skype installed you can select ONLINE therapy The Relationship Hub – Mary T Aaron (MBACP).
So I say fantastic but let’s get our self-dating ready, let’s get ourselves ready by getting to know, why we struggle in the first place.
Why do we have unsuccessful relationships? Why do they always lie/cheat/leave?
Why can’t I be happy? Why does everyone else succeed? Why?
Well, I can answer these questions quickly, there is some good news and some bad news.
Here we go:
The good news it’s nothing to do with “them”, it is everything to do with you.
The bad news it’s nothing to do with “them”, it is everything to do with you.
Why are our divorce rates still so high? Why do couples split up and struggle to stay together?
If you have skype installed you can select ONLINE therapy The Relationship Hub – Mary T Aaron (MBACP).
Let’s explore those questions.
So we want to look good, stay healthy so we decided to go to the gym, start running, swimming, play golf whatever activity we decide to do, we research, try out and find what works for us because then it’s fun it’s not a chore.
Or we decide I want try socialize more, so we call friends, join a group and nurture these friendships, we have fun, we giggle and we get to know each other.
So now we feel at peak fitness, or that we have an amazing group of friends, its cold outside, I’m not going to go for cocktails this week, and I’m going to leave the gym till it gets warmer, how long do we think we will stay in peak fitness? Or when will our friends stop inviting us out? Maintaining any kind of relationship takes time, love, care and commitment, whether in the gym or with friends.
Well this it seems is what happens in relationships all the time. And there is no age that we get sensible and know this, I work with young 20 year olds to 50 year married couples. I work with single people who try and try and the same patterns occur in all their relationships, yet they don’t understand why. We fail to see the common denominator, us.
We meet someone, and it’s wonderful and romantic and then we hope per chance this one will be different, and that this time they won’t hurt us, and that this time we will stay together.
This is where ‘we’ come into it, the choice of making a relationship work is up to us.
If you have skype installed you can select ONLINE therapy The Relationship Hub – Mary T Aaron (MBACP).
Well, we have to know who we are, we need to understand what we bring to relationships, how we choose a partner? What criteria, explicit or implicitly do we lay out to a potential partner?
So when we join a dating website, we write so little about who we are and what we want, instead we write from the position of who we want to attract.
So when we say, I’m fun, gentle loving and loyal and friends say I have a good sense of humor, who are you looking to attract? Have you used this before? Does it make you sound like you?
This is where the problem usually lies, we are born with amazing qualities, however time and life situations tend to create dissatisfaction and disbelief in others.
Yet we continue to search and believe we will find someone, anyone to be our ‘soulmate ’then we are so disappointed when they turn out like all the others. And so we begin the internal dialogue ….again… “They’re all the same, that’s it I’m staying single……until the next time I log on to the dating sites”, and start it all again.
“If you carry the bricks from your previous relationships, you will end up building the same house”
What if the dissatisfaction and disbelief lays in us? What if we change our relationship with us, could this create happier external relationships?
Our modern day philosopher Alain De Botton says it amazingly,
“What is so frightening is the extent to which we may idealize others when we have such trouble tolerating ourselves”
Source ― Alain de Botton, “Essays in Love”
I’m here to tell you YES , the best relationship is with you, to see clients who start to care and respect themselves, to start to value themselves, and to loving and assertively show others how amazing they are, is why I love working in relationships.
So you can have a wonderful time for Valentine, you can decide to have the most loving relationship with YOU
Happy Valentine YOU
7 steps to change your life
So here it is Christmas around the corner, wow it seems only a short while when we were celebrating New Year 2018, time goes by so fast.
So how did we all do on our New Year resolutions? I didn’t do too well, lose weight and join the gym, which lasted until, February or March.
How many of us say, “Ok when Christmas is over, I’m going to make next year count, it’s going to be totally different next year, surely it can’t be as bad as this year”.
So why does it become the same as last year? Why do we end the year the same?
So if you’re reading this I’m presuming you are frustrated that your year starts off with good intentions, however the little voice in your head says, yeah isn’t gona happen
Well I want you to know it can.
So I want to you to imagine you have bought a piece of property as an investment, it needs work on it but it will give you amazing financial rewards when it’s sold. So what do you do?
Do you sit there? And sit there or do you get busy. The sooner we fix this property up, the quicker the rewards.
Well that’s the same for us, if we sit and do nothing, nothing is what we will get.
If we want change we have to change what we do.
I believe we can achieve this if we firstly don’t rush things, and if we don’t set expectation so high it’s unachievable. For instance, if we say “right I’m going to get my hair done, buy a new dress, take some pictures for my dating profile, I want to be in a relationship by valentines”.
Let’s go back to the property, would we do that with our property? Would we rush it? And if we did, would we expect a good return? Or would we drop our price? just for a quick sale. Imagine how disappointed we would feel, if we sold out cheap.
Well that’s the same for us. If we rush this, we may and usually do start to lose faith and then we start to drop our standards, for what, a relationships that under those circumstances will not last. We do not want Mr. or Mrs. Right now, we want long lasting Mr. or Mrs. Right.
I believe if we follow 7steps, we can make a difference, and I believe we can be this time next year, saying wow what a year, my world has completely changed.
Again lets go back to the property, we would have to decide how we were going to renovate, what time we could give, this would have to be well thought out, because we are all busy people, work, children, partners or the pursuit of one, life in general just gets in the way, but if we want a good return, we have to do this properly. Well that’s the same if we want our world to change, we have to put the work in. The rewards are phenomenal, I’ve seen it in clients I have worked with. You simply have to decide, this is my time, now I need a plan to renovate me, and I believe the 7 steps will do that.
Head over to my website anytime to check out the 7 steps resource packs, everything you need to keep on track, it’s all free, my gift to you for Christmas.
So the 7 steps.
We have to commit to the process of changing, again as I said earlier if we sit, and sit and expect change we are going to be disappointed, we have to make a commitment to ourselves. Lots of resources available on my website to help with this, downloadable worksheets etc.
Nothing good happens without a good plan, what’s the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail “be your own project, I have set a whole page with resources, links, usable downloads to help with this. Head over to my website, all are easy to use. If not set your own plan. Do it weekly or monthly, small steps, big steps are overwhelming. Use the property as an analogy, if you can only see that you want it on the market for a certain price, but you know the kitchen is falling apart, if you do not concentrate on the kitchen, it won’t even get to market. So plan slowly, remember we have till the end of the year to have made a difference. Check out the plan templates in the resource packs.
3 YOU ARE THE TARGET
Make you the target of all that you do this year, You have to make you really important to you, that is decide, its time, it’s time for you to have fun, be happy. You know happiness is contagious, if we are happy we attract happy, all around us act happy, so if we are mum, dad, when we are happy our children act happy, so let’s make you the priority it’s not selfish it’s your right and you owe it to yourself.
4 GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
Get out of your own way, don’t let yourself give up on you, push past your negative thoughts, even if you feel your head is full of them, try and push through. Again I have lots of resources on my website, click on the link, below. Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and we feel like we are in a fog, self-care and giving yourself permission to be still for a short time while the fog lifts will help.
Please find time for yourself. Lots of people say “ oh I’m to busy,” or “sorry don’t have time for that “ Imagine if you went into your employer and you told them “ sorry I don’t have time to give you to do my job I can only invest say 1 hour a week in the job” I’m sure you know where that conversation would end. Time to invest in you is time well spent. This is the biggest issue for all of us, we are consumed by how little time we have, but if we stopped and actually considered this, we probably have more downtime than we know we just don’t utilize it for us, well now we should.
6 DAILY DAIRY
This is one of your more important tools, we need to keep a daily diary, of how the day has gone, we don’t need to write copious notes, you can if you want to, if not just bullet points, this will be a reminder of what we have achieved but also it will provide us with insight in to what we could do differently. This is extremely important for our self-reflection, we should be able to see why we feel stressed, what are our triggers, what can we do to change this, so this is very important.
And finally, and this is the best bit, make it fun.
Please whatever else you do, please make it fun, I will do what I can to help with this, its scientifically proven if we enjoy ourselves when completing tasks we remember them better and we stay focused, so let’s keep it fun. We are not a chore, we are amazing, let’s have fun getting to know ourselves.
Head over to my website, lots of interactive things going on. Each of the 7 steps has a folder, with all the resources you should need to keep you on track, remember everything is free so what have you got to lose? Check out my vlog, I will be doing podcasts, lots more vlogs, please don’t be shy, send me an email if you’re struggling with any of the issues I have mentioned. Also contact if you wish to make an appointment remember I also offer online couples and individual therapy.
Website : https://brentwoodcounselling.co.uk/resource/
Have the best Christmas, remember the best present is getting unwrapped from now and that you, see you on the website.
Couples therapy reduces damaging interactions between couples, builds emotional openness and closeness, improves communication and behaviour, changes unhelpful thoughts and perceptions, and helps the couple cope with the ordinary and not-so ordinary stresses that arise in the course of everyday relating.
When I began training to work with couples, I began with lots of preconceptions. “What do I do if they start screaming at each other?”, “I’m going to have to help this couple stay together, after all that is why they are here”. I could not have been more wrong. Couples therapy is less about myself and so much more about how the clients (the couple) communicate and interact. It is so much about their learning and understanding of what a relationship is long before they met.
Working with a couple could be said to be like building a house. When we begin, we start at the foundations, as with many couples they may have not created strong foundations. It is likely therefore that the relationship will hit difficult patches. Very much like building a house, if we start the build with inadequate foundations it is likely the house will hit difficult problems in the future.
Foundations for a couple begin long before they meet. If their only experience of relationships is chaotic and directed from their childhood, they’re going to bring this pain and hurt into the new relationship to build what they hope will be different to what they have lived.
When we look at childhood behaviour and patterns, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have come from a broken home. As children we are constantly picking up implicit messages from adults, and these messages have a way of shaping who we will become as adults.
So for example, if a child is brought up in what is perceived to be a stable home, however there is an implicit secret that the family knows about but no one talks about, it is possible that this child could grow up to believe it’s ok to keep secrets, from his spouse or from his children. Here we can see the difficulty this could present in a relationship. If a child is brought up in a stable one parent family, for all intents and purposes everything presents as fine, however when she as an adult begins to date, this could present issues depending on the reason her residing parent is single, but also her perception of her role as a grown up.
Recent government figures show that couples therapy for depression, which focuses on couple relationships to help treat depression, has significantly higher recovery rates than the most common talking therapy.
About the author
My name is Mary Aaron. I am an Integrative Psychotherapist. Qualified and Experienced couples therapist, having trained at The Tavistock Centre, London, UK, internationally renowned experts. I currently work, part-time within an NHS setting; I also have a private practice.
mobile number 07578455980
please check out my business links below.
Before I started working as a couple therapist I had lots of preconceived ideas, all of them included a predetermined idea of what the couple would be like…….
Lots of shouting, lots of crying, if I’m honest I believed he would be wrong and she would be just difficult.
I believed I would almost have to referee, so why would anyone with these preconceptions choose to be a couple therapist?
Because I was intrigued, because I wanted to know how you go from being in love, heart and flowers, from “let’s get married, and have children, and stay together forever”
To being with someone, you don’t like, who hurts you, who makes you cry, who destroys your trust.
How did this break? , where did it go wrong? How did it happen?
So when and how did it go wrong? Well let’s start at the beginning. …… so let’s call our couple. Sally and Mark (these are a fictional couple,).
So Sally (27yrs.old) Met Mark (28yrs.old) at work, they both worked in the same office. They got together on a staff night out. Sally had just ended a long relationship and wasn’t looking for anything, Mark had been single for some time. Sally had her own rented flat, Mark flat shared with his mates, or stayed with his single dad. .
They began to date, it was a real passionate relationship, lots of long Sunday lay- ins, weekends away, nights out with friends Mark was such good fun.
Sally mum was not so impressed with Mark, but didn’t say anything because of how wrong she was about Sally previous relationship, even though Sally told her mum and anyone who would listen Mark is the one, “he is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with”.
Sally enjoyed the relationship as it was in contrast to her previous long term relationship with Richard her ex.
Richard and Sally met when they were both at university, their first night out in fresher’s week, and they were hooked, very passionate, they went to festivals together, they spent every moment they could together.
They would take turns during their uni break to go to each other’s family homes, both families really liked each of them. That’s is to say, Sally mum really liked Richard, he was kind and loving towards Sally and very protective, what’s not to like? Sally’s dad when he met Richard wasn’t as happy, he felt Sally should have gone through university and started work before she got into a relationship.
What did he know, he met and married his wife when they were in their early 20s and had sally and her older sister Megan within 3 years of being married, mum had to stop work so dad had to work long hours, they were always struggling to pay for things, this caused arguments and the girls lived with this most of their childhood, dad angry, mum sulking at least Sally wasn’t that stupid. Richard was fun, he was always making her giggle, and he is nothing like dad, thank goodness. Richards family were completely different, his dad left when he was only 2 years old, his mum brought him and his younger brother up alone, they had nothing but they did have a happy home, even though mum struggled financially, she made them understand responsibility and to respect and manage their finances.
They left university and rented a flat close to work, after being together for 5 years, Sally’s friends and family began the usual questions, the societal questions we ask all couples. “So when are you two getting married?”…” it’s time we heard the pitter patter of tiny feet “.the pressure begins, Sally asks Richard, “so where is this going?”, “what is it we are doing?” Richard starts to feel the pressure, he’s not ready yet for this commitment, but he loves Sally so he doesn’t say, so he starts to withdraw from Sally. It seems their only conversations now are around, marriage, weddings and children. Richard finds this difficult, he knows these things cost money, he wants to make sure they are financially ok first, Sally is less concerned, “mum managed it ok, we didn’t have a bad childhood”
Over the next few months, they start to argue and fall out more than ever, they begin to spend more time apart, Richard at work, Sally out with friends. When they’re home, they don’t talk, Sally tells friends Richard is really controlling, she feels he makes all the decisions, Richard feels really lonely, one afternoon one of his colleagues notices he is sitting staring out the window, she says “ penny for them ……” Richard jumps and sees Becky, from finance at his desk, the following day, they’re having lunch in costa coffee, giggling.
So Sally tells mark her awful story of how her last relationship ended because her ex was a lying cheat, who ran off with Becky from finance, and how she was such a good partner and he treated her so badly, Mark is saddened by this awful story of infidelity, and assures Sally he is not like that, Sally tells Mark I know, but I am now so insecure “I know you would never cheat on me “
Mark, is so different to Richard, he is happy go lucky, he doesn’t stress the small stuff, as long as he can pay his rent and have enough to go have a beer with his friends at the weekend that’s his only need, Mark was all about the fun….
The last serious relationship Mark had was in his late teens early 20s, with Molly, it lasted all of 2 years on and off, she was so clingy, wanting to know where he is, who he is with, what time he was going to be home.
So Mark told his dad, about Molly, his dad said Mark she will drive you mad, end it with her you need to enjoy yourself and have fun not get strapped down to a girl, “so your oats”.
“ look what happened with me and your mum, we probably would have been ok had she not got pregnant so early in or relationship, I had to marry her then, her dad would have hunted me down, she then had you and Jo, straight after Lydia was born, all I wanted was some fun, she Kept getting pregnant.
Look at me now, still young free and single, I know Lydia and Jo don’t have anything to do with me, it’s because your mother poisoned their minds against me, saying I ran off, telling them I had a drink problem, just because I liked to go out now and again, when I met Bev, me and your mum where not getting on, she was always moaning about one thing or another, it’s enough to drive a man mad, your mum threw me out because I wasn’t earning enough, not like her husband now, who spoils her rotten. Mark, don’t get trapped, play the field my son, and don’t get lumbered. Mark got on really well with his dad but he did feel sorry for him because he spent all his time alone, he hardly went out these days because he can’t afford it not since him and Bev split, she was the one who worked, so it’s hard for his dad.
Sally met Marks dad, she told her mum she didn’t much like him, she thought he was a bit lazy and wasn’t respectful of women, “thank god Mark is not like that, his mum is lovely though, she has a new husband he is lovely, he treats her like a queen, and Jo and Lydia really like him as does Mark, but he thinks he’s bit of a wimp to his mum, and that mum takes advantage of this, I think he’s lovely”.
So mark kept away from long term relationships and played the field, the first night he met Sally she had had a few drinks, was dancing and looked amazing, she was funny ,bright and stunning, mark was hooked . He knew they were going to have lots of fun, after all she said, she didn’t want anything serious , so how lucky are they that they have found each other !!
So couple therapy ……. Do we need it?
If you are struggling with your relationship, ask me a question, email it to me at
it will go on my website, let’s see if we can help.