Developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships online

02073 782 050 02073 782 050 / 02073 782 008 02073 782 008
24th September 2022, 10.00am - 4.00pm
Counsellors and trainees
Qualified practitioners £80, Counselling/Psychotherapy trainees £70, WPF Therapy trainees/staff £55

This workshop will be delivered via Zoom.

Most clinicians have made the move to online therapy suddenly. For many, it has worked well. Others may be struggling. Now is the time to consolidate the work and think about how we deepen our work with clients using this medium.

  • Do you want to develop your work online?
  • Are you working online with your clients?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities of online therapy? 
  • How can we develop a way of maintaining a therapeutic presence in online work?
  • What are the challenges of imaginative and creative interaction with clients during live video sessions? 
  • What strategies can we use to overcome psychological barriers in working online?

By the end of the workshop you can expect:

  • To develop understanding of potential difficulties of working online and to explore various ways of managing those. 
  • To explore individual emotional responses to on-screen counselling through experiential activities and discussion.
  • To re-examine familiar concepts such as analytic attitude, holding environment, containment and reverie in the absence of physical "container" of the traditional therapy room. 
  • To learn a cross-modal communication channel between the human senses. 
  • To embrace therapeutic uses of technology as the integral "third". 


During the workshop, we will explore the essentials of a genuine psychotherapeutic process while working by Skype. Starting with a brief history of an online work that began with chat rooms and later moved on to Skype work, participants will be invited to look at the therapeutic presence and imaginative function as one of the key concepts. The need for and the lack of physical proximity will be explored.

Case presentations will illustrate the situations when the physical distance becomes a serious obstacle in the therapy, when it could be overcome and rare cases where it facilitates the therapeutic process. How do our own sensory function and body attunement impact on the work? Do they facilitate therapy via Skype? 

There will be space to explore your own individual emotional experience of online communication, personal associations with the use of devices and “screen” and how those influence their attitudes towards online therapy work.   

During the afternoon we will look at the peculiarities of transference and countertransference with special attention to embodied countertransference. Managing the emotional container when the physical container is "contaminated" or absent will be presented as a case study. Seductions and distractions in online therapy, shame related issues will be explored and followed by clinical vignettes. 

Finally, we will think about the concept of technology as the "third", new therapeutic landscape and how it can be acknowledged, embraced and worked with in therapy is discussed. The critical issues for the profession then become the professional development for practitioners in the use of Skype and suggestions are listed. 

Workshop leaders

Alla Rowe is a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist in private practice since 2005. Alla trained in marital and couple psychodynamic psychotherapy at the London Marriage Guidance. She then continued her training at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, where she obtained Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Couple Psychotherapy, accredited by the University of East London. From 2006 and until the pilot scheme closure in 2013 Alla worked as a Relate licenced therapist in private practice. Alla works with clients face to face at her office in London as well as online. 

Julia Ovchinnikova is a Jungian Psychoanalyst. She is a member of the Association of Jungian Analysts. She has a Ph.D. in psychology, lectures in the UK and Russia in academic psychology, psychotherapy and Jungian analysis. She also supervises psychodynamic counsellors at Sutton Counselling Centre. The main area of Julia's research is personality crisis, with a particular interest in identity crisis and midlife crisis. She has a number of published papers.

Julia has practiced psychotherapy for 20 years. Since 2014 Julia has been working in private practice in Surbiton, seeing her clients face to face and online. 

Target audience:

Counselling and psychotherapy trainees and qualified counsellors and trainees wishing to explore and develop their online work. 

Applications must be received by Thursday, 15th September 2022. Booking will be final after receipt of payment.

Before booking please read our terms and conditions for CPD events. If you experience any problems during the application process then please contact

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Hosted by WPF Therapy

WPF Therapy is a well established and respected therapy training organisation. Throughout the year we provide CPD workshops and lectures to augment the clinical and theoretical learning offered by training organisations. This also offers the opportunity to focus on topics pertinent to the clinical work provided by new and established practitioners.

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