Whether I am doing face-to-face, asynchronous email, or video counselling I like to incorporate creative approaches in my work. Here’s some of the creative things I have tried with my online clients.
Collages – I give my clients specific directions for creating a collage (e.g. creating a vision of their preferred future). Then they can either scan or photograph it and send me a copy so we can discuss it in session. Recently I was introduced to www.polyvore.com as a way to do digital collages. It has distinct possibilities.
Poetry – when it seems relevant I have given clients poetry to read and reflect on. Clients have also shared poetry with me, either their own and another’s. Last year one client even shared songs he had written about his break up.
Blogs, podcasts, youtube clips and movies – depending on the topic and the client’s need. An example of something I have used to good effect with more than one client is Brene Brown’s Ted talk on Wholeheartedness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0
Journalling sites – While I personally don’t generally recommend them to clients because of privacy concerns, I have had clients share some of their online journal entries with me. It has often opened up deeper dialogue than we would have had otherwise.
I suggested a client write a “Dear John” letter to the profession she was considering leaving. It was, perhaps, the most revealing piece of work we did together. It was hilarious too!
Anything I have mentioned above I only do if it seems to be therapeutically relevant and appropriate to do so. Also, if I am referring clients to an outside source, I recommend they read/listen with discernment and critical judgment.
Of course there is so much more to explore in terms of creativity and online therapy. In my next blog post I will talk about the intersection between creative arts therapies and online counselling.
Dawn Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA