social icons graphic

The use of technology in psychotherapy training: some research-informed reflections

The use of technology in psychotherapy training: some research-informed reflections 

This is the first part of an article I wrote for the Psychotherapist, the journal of the UKCP. I hope you will find this interesting.


The story of how psychotherapy training engages with technological change in society follows a classic trajectory i.e. At first there is suspicion and resistance, then a few pioneers begin to adopt it, and finally it becomes an established component of standard trainings. It is hard to imagine now that common practices  such as the use of audio-recording technology  were originally resisted. Psychotherapy training is now in the early stages of dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technology. In this article I will be reflecting on what the research is telling us about how we can make good effective use of online training and digital technology in our field. It will expand on the guidelines on the use of online training which were published to back up the UKCP Standards of Education and Training, 2009.

In the age of ever-increasing use of technology, it is clear that we need  to ensure that an appropriate balance between live and online teaching can be reached for those training OMs who wish to utilise this medium, in order to maximise students’ experience and learning. I feel it is important to state right away that no one is intending to allow “fully online” training in UKCP. The Standards of Education and Training currently state:

“3.23 Organisations should have policies in place which  govern the extent and the type of technologies that are to be used in the delivery of training, eg internet & skype.  Normally, distance teaching and learning using these technologies should not exceed 50% of the total contact time.  Distance teaching and learning technologies should not be used prior to face-to-face contact and the establishment of a learning relationship.”

The SETs are currently in the process of being reviewed  but there is no plan to change this clause. This paper will also touch on the use of technology for therapy and supervision. The following themes have been identified from the literature, all of which need to be considered when planning online learning.

Recent Posts