Efficacy Embrace Technology and Create a Shared Economy Culture
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy specialists, Efficacy, have offered remote and online CBT for clients for several years, and have demonstrated equal effectiveness to traditional face-to-face CBT. During the current Covid-19 epidemic, these digital services are helping to serve clients while we are all socially distancing or in isolation but they are also revealing some exciting learning opportunities and insights for their team of BABCP accredited therapists.
Efficacy have begun hosting daily Zoom meetings which have now been extended beyond their own therapists and will be available to any BABCP accredited independent practitioners. These sessions were originally introduced to share advice on how to use technology platforms such as Zoom, as well as a preventative measure to discuss any tech challenges or learnings with others to ensure every therapist could run their client sessions effectively.
‘We have discovered that through being forced to embrace digital at a rapid pace that we are finding solutions to challenges we didn’t know we had’ explains Lee Grant, Clinical Director and accredited CBT Therapist.
A discussion shared among BABCP accredited therapists on these virtual meetings was how they would tackle gradual and graded exposure therapy during the Covid-19 Lockdown. This is a treatment intervention for reducing fear and anxiety responses. Research demonstrates the client will evoke less and less anxiety each time and alone with behavioural experiments is one of the best techniques for treating anxiety disorders.
This type of therapy, exposure and response prevention (ERP) has been found to be particularly useful for obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
‘The challenge was that this is usually an exercise that we, as therapists, would do with the client. One solution has been to embrace technology further by utilising Google Street View. We can view a location together on screen, providing a static visual which is a very effective first step for remote-in-vivo [completed with a therapist present] exposure therapy” adds Lee Grant.
An additional advantage of doing this through digital technology is that the client receiving treatment can also record the exposure and continue with treatment between therapy sessions adding to the effectiveness of the intervention – exposure needs to be graded, gradual, prolonged and regular to maximise the benefits in the longer term.
‘It’s wonderful to be reflective and curious about technology’ claimed one CBT therapist on the daily Zoom call.
Other learnings are the increased awareness of non-verbal language and gestures displayed by the CBT Therapists, how to position the camera to ensure non-verbal communication is being pick up on both sides. Efficacy’s therapists have also been discussing how to use the technology to facilitate the usual therapy process, such as using digital white boards, online measures. It has been useful to pick up on skills-based learning and sharing but also identified up and coming learning topics such as identifying, managing and sharing increased risk. The sharing economy, created by Efficacy in this manner, is a concept that highlights the ability of therapists to borrow ideas and learnings from each other at a quicker pace than ever before.
The daily Zoom calls take place at 11am and are now open to any BABCP accredited therapist. To take part, please connect with Lee Grant of Efficacy.
Lee Grant is the Clinical Director and founder of Efficacy. He is a registered nurse and accredited with the BABCP as a practitioner, supervisor and trainer.