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The Digital mHealth Conversation Series 2019: Can The Common Elements Of Therapy (e.g. Empathy, Gestures, Non-Verbal Cues) That Come From Person-To-Person Interactions Be Maintained With Digital Technology Interventions? – Philippa Weitz

October 8 @ 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm BST

The Digital mHealth Conversation Series 2019

Event Details


Kate Dunn | Cal Nield | Adrian Rhodes | Dr. Carole Francis-Smith

Philippa Weitz | John Wilson


Over 2017/8 MindTech and the James Lind Alliance identified the Top 10 questions for digital technology in mental healthcare. These were filtered down from an initial 1,350 questions, submitted by people with live experience and health professionals. It is their intention that these will guide the funders of research to ensure that future research is focused on answering these questions and that the potential of digital technology for mental health can be fully realised.

The Academy and Onlinevents are so inspired by these questions and the reasoning behind them that we have decided to use them as the focus for a series of structured conversations hosted by The Academy and Onlinevents on the future of digital mental health care. This will include both online therapy and digital impact on face-to-face therapy.

Each conversation will centre around a series of structured questions related to the theme of the DigitalmHealth Conversation.

  1. What is the research evidence base regarding common elements of therapy?
  2. Do we know how patients and clients feel the sense of presence in online therapy?
  3. What might be some of the strengths and weaknesses regarding the common elements of therapy?
  4. What might be useful for therapists to be taught around the role of screen presence?

Kate Dunn


I am a psychotherapeutic counsellor, supervisor and consultant/trainer currently working in private practice both online and face-to-face. Whilst working as a counsellor in a university setting, I established an online service and subsequently carried out research into the Online Therapeutic Relationship, supported by Seed Corn Funding from BACP. I have shared ideas resulting from this research in journal articles (including Therapy Today, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal, and TILT magazine) and in the book: "Psychotherapy 2.0: Where Psychotherapy and Technology Meet", Edited by P Weitz, Karnac Books 2014.

Cal Nield


My professional journey to being a therapist began in the NHS over 30 years ago when I started out in the NHS in mental health. This has provided a wonderfully rich experience of working with dedicated skilled colleagues and with wonderfully resilient people, who show courage in facing the kind of exploration that therapy entails.

As a psychotherapist with almost 20 years experience in that role and over 10 years in independent practice, I remain as passionate about the work now as ever. As a cognitive analytic psychotherapist, my focus is on the relationship, past and present, and work in therapy using the immediate 'in the room' experience shared within the therapeutic space. Working online, this space is a metaphorical, inter subjective one, and I have had to scrutinize my own understanding about how therapists can work with transference and counter transference at a distance, and how this medium can lend itself well. Having completed the diploma in Online Counselling and Psychotherapy within the Academy, I also now enjoy contributing to the academy as a tutor.

Adrian Rhodes


I am a psychoanalytic psychotherapist Registered with UKCP. I formerly worked in the NHS but now have an online and face-to-face practice. I guess I'm here as proof that old dogs can learn new tricks!

A few years ago, being short of CPD, I signed up for a Diploma in online therapy - and got hooked! I became fascinated by how online work is transforming psychotherapy.

It seems to me that, in order to appreciate the differences (negatives and positives), we would do well to treat it as a different expression of therapy
(just as group or couples work are different expressions).

Now, I'm the "International Director" for ACTO and the lead for online therapy for the European Association for Psychotherapy.

Dr. Carole Francis-Smith


I am a counselling psychologist working in private practice. I currently provide therapy and supervision both face-to-face and online, run trainings for therapists considering working online (and other mental health/staff resilience areas), and business coaching for therapists setting up an online practice. My doctoral research was in the Online Therapeutic Relationship from which I also became fascinated by online communications in broader contexts, especially where these impact on the work of therapists and the experiences of clients. I'm an advocate of Compassionate Mind training/Compassion Focused therapy and have recently been taking a look at what can happen to compassion when communicating in online contexts. The Netiquette guidelines I produced are in the process of being adopted by the Compassionate Mind Foundation as good practice.

About Philippa Weitz


I am interested in the success of the online therapeutic relationship, security, confidentiality, & jurisdiction as well as the use of virtual reality and artificial intelligence in therapeutic settings.

Most of all, I want to inspire therapists to simply go beyond turning on their webcams and thinking that is online therapy. There is such an exciting world out there for the online therapist ..... as big as the capacity of our mind to explore beyond what we are comfortable with.

So, what are my formal roles?

Click HERE for available courses & workshops.

Event Format


This event will be an interview conducted using a ZOOM video link that will be streamed to our live video page. You will be able to see and hear the conversation, as it is happening, and use the chat room to offer your own comments and questions.

Recordings are usually posted to the library the day after the live event.

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October 8
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category: