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 onlinecounselling and psychotherapy. Those are the two principal goals of ACTO’s newChair, Adrian Rhodes, who leads a ten strong volunteer Board of Directors withrepresentatives from across the profession. And for Adrian, the new role comesat a time of fundamental change as the world adjusts to life during theCovid-19 pandemic, necessitating innovative ways of working for counsellors andpsychotherapists.

The lockdown and the introduction of social distancingmeasures have resulted in a massive increase in the numbers of psychotherapistsand counsellors seeking to work online. The support of ACTO is needed aspractitioners and services adapt to the technology and ways of engaging withtheir clients.

Adrian, who qualified as a psychotherapist in the 1980s, workedas a psychotherapist in the NHS and is also an Honorary Canon in the Church ofEngland, believes that the growth in practitioners and services working onlineis 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 andpsychotherapists to work online. We have 15 years’ experience this knowledgeand 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 ourcolleagues with the right skills and expertise is therefore urgent. It is easyto 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 onlinetherapy. Furthermore, as an organisation we will drive up standards of practiceand training, provide information about working internationally and improveaccess to key research. Put simply, ACTO will be the ‘go-to’ place fordiscussion 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. Membershipis open to qualified professional counsellors, psychotherapists, counsellingpsychologists and CBT therapists registered with BACP, UKCP, BPS, BABCP orsimilar organisations. Those with registration to a different professionalmembership body should check with the membership director for equivalence. ForProfessional Membership you will have needed to complete and pass onlinetraining with an ACTO-approved online training provider.

Adrian Rhodes lives in Manchester and works as an onlinepsychotherapist. As well as being chair of ACTO, Adrian is the President,European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies. Adrian first startedwork as a counsellor in the 1970s before moving to work in the NHS as aregistered psychotherapist at a mental health trust. He is a chaplain atManchester Cathedral.

Phone:       077 536 77422 / 0161 224 1739


Simon Frost
Hibou Communication