Instant chat sessions are conducted through Skype. In an instant chat session, the client and therapist communicate through the use of the instant chat (typing) facility.
The session begins when the client types and sends the first message, then the therapist responds and so the session continues. Within this medium the client and therapist do not see each other, which makes this a popular choice for those who feel particularly anxious about being seen within the session. For some people, the relative anonymity allows them to express themselves more freely and in a way that they would not perhaps feel able to during a session in which they and the therapist are seen. It is also a preferred option for people where privacy is an issue, perhaps due to work or family or care commitments that would be prohibitive for a telephone or video call session.
Whilst instant chat sessions begin with neither client or therapist being seen, it is not fixed and can be adapted to to suit the changing needs of the client. Ultimately what we are all seeking is to be seen, heard and accepted as we truly are. As the therapeutic relationship grows and trust is established, clients often choose to switch on the video (sometimes at both ends, sometimes initially just on the part of the therapist), and while communication continues to be through typing, they are now able to visually interact and connect with their therapist and begin the process of finding a safe way for them to be seen within a safe and caring relationship. Instant chat sessions allow people who may not otherwise seek help due to anxiety, to access support when it is needed, rather than when crisis erupts.