It is easy to do therapy online; but it is difficult to do therapy online well, says Adrian Rhodes
Raising standards and making ACTO the go-to place for online counselling and psychotherapy. Those are the two principal goals of ACTO’s new Chair, Adrian Rhodes, who leads a ten strong volunteer Board of Directors with representatives from across the profession. And for Adrian, the new role comes at a time of fundamental change as the world adjusts to life during the Covid-19 pandemic, necessitating innovative ways of working for counsellors and psychotherapists.
The lockdown and the introduction of social distancing measures have resulted in a massive increase in the numbers of psychotherapists and counsellors seeking to work online. The support of ACTO is needed as practitioners and services adapt to the technology and ways of engaging with their clients.
Adrian, who qualified as a psychotherapist in the 1980s, worked as a psychotherapist in the NHS and is also an Honorary Canon in the Church of England, believes that the growth in practitioners and services working online is a positive response to the crisis; however, it offers fresh challenges too, to ensure that a high standard of quality is provided.
Adrian said, “ACTO is a body that supports counsellors and psychotherapists to work online. We have 15 years’ experience this knowledge and expertise is invaluable at the current time.
“The landscape that we all operate in has been transformed. Since March, many psychotherapists and counsellors have started to work online, some with limited experience and training. The need to equip our colleagues with the right skills and expertise is therefore urgent. It is easy to do therapy online; but it is difficult to do therapy online well.
Adrian continued, “To make these transformative changes, ACTO will build up our repository of resources and knowledge around online therapy. Furthermore, as an organisation we will drive up standards of practice and training, provide information about working internationally and improve access to key research. Put simply, ACTO will be the ‘go-to’ place for discussion and debate for psychotherapists and counsellors.”
ACTO provides a range of services to its members, including a directory for therapists and supervisors, forums for practitioners to discuss relevant issues and access to digital tools.
ACTO is the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online. Membership is open to qualified professional counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling psychologists and CBT therapists registered with BACP, UKCP, BPS, BABCP or similar organisations. Those with registration to a different professional membership body should check with the membership director for equivalence. For Professional Membership you will have needed to complete and pass online training with an ACTO-approved online training provider.
Adrian Rhodes lives in Manchester and works as an online psychotherapist. As well as being chair of ACTO, Adrian is the President, European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies. Adrian first started work as a counsellor in the 1970s before moving to work in the NHS as a registered psychotherapist at a mental health trust. He is a chaplain at Manchester Cathedral.