UPCA Conference 11th November 2017


UPCA Conference 2017


Internet psychotherapy, supervision and training:


are you providing this - should you be? 


The rate of change brought about by our digital era appears at the very least exponential. It is affecting how we live our lives involving both the 'what' and the 'how' of what clients/ patients bring, together with how we as psychological therapists practice. The internet provides for us such potential changes as: Whether we access clients/patients through our own websites and electronic directories, whether we communicate with our clients/patients through mobiles, text, emails etc.; whether we accept payment by electronic transfer, through to whether we provide therapy, supervision and training using the internet. This conference is designed to not only explore the possibilities the internet can open up for us but also whether these changes stand up as worthwhile in the light of criticisms that it changes the very nature of our project.




What are the benefits and limitations of the internet for either therapist or client? What opportunities does it open up or close down? What might it help reveal or conceal? Does it, for example, provide access where previously geography or mobility would have been restricting? Or does it fail to allow for the very nature of psychotherapeutic knowledge, which might only be present with the face-to-face as opposed to the inter-face? Thus, whilst there are opportunities for us to get into 21st century technology there are many warnings. For example, Heidegger cautions us against developing a technicity where the problem becomes we are only interested in what functions. Derrida argues that ‘what is no longer archived in the same way is no longer lived in the same way’. Whereas for Levinas, our (ethical) relation to one another ‘takes place in the concrete situation of speech’. What then might be the relation of the ‘virtual consulting room/training room/supervision’ room to ‘the concrete situation of speech’? Also, what might interactive therapy/supervision/learning on the net – in the potential absence of an embodied listener - imply for ‘responsible relatedness’?




So, should one embrace all or none of how the internet can affect psychotherapeutic practice, and what are the, if any, helpful places in between? This conference is designed to provide an opportunity for two audiences: Those who have had little involvement with the internet, and are wondering whether now is the time to consider venturing further; and, those who are already very involved with aspects of the internet in therapeutic provision and may wish to think again!




Conference papers presented 2015

Keynote speakers:

Aonghus Gordon   Focus grasp and step - Contemporary apprenticeship learning; John Lees   The advent of the manager-practitioner and the death of the practitioner-researcher: the end of professionalism in counselling and psychotherapy?; Arthur Musgrave   The emergence of 'state-endorsed therapy'...? Michael Rustin   Psychotherapy in a neo-liberal world; Del Loewenthal   Psychotherapy and counselling: From cottage industry to factory production - can we survive, do we want to? 

Parallel Presentations:

Catherine Altson   What are the perceived implications, if any, for non-IAPT therapists working in an IAPT service?; Anthony Johnstone   When IAPT came: a folk narrative concerning ethical practice; Mo Mandic   Work, alienation and the limit and scope for psychotherapy; Elizabeth Nicholl   Psychiatric diagnosis: medicalisation, market forces and society; Sharon O' Driscoll   Fear of the free thinking therapist; Denis Postle   Short film: The Psycommons and its enclosures - professionalized wisdom and the abuse of power; Anastasios Gaitanidis   Psychotherapy and commodity fetishism; Gillian Brooks   Time-Limited Endings in Therapy - a Heuristic Study; Paul Atkinson   Psychotherapy’s embrace of neoliberalism: are we interested in alternatives?; Jean Burke   The Psychotherapist's experience of being courageous in their practice