Can I be sure of confidentiality over webcam therapy?
anonymous Asks ...
My wife and I are having intimacy issues. There are physical components. I believe that we should speak to a sex therapist but in truth we are both quite bashful to do so. I believe that if we could do this at home it would be much easier and less embarrassing. If there needs to be physical demonstrations in a session I think I could do that much easier over a webcam than in an office.
But I am worried that things we transmit are not secure and I work in a sensitive position…it would be very embarrassing, politically disastrous, if any video was ever leaked. Does this ever happen? How safe is this for me?
Mark Hughes Says ...
Thanks for contacting me and explaining the situation so clearly. Firstly I understand your concern and it seems to me that even if you were a webcam or Skype type link were 100% secure, there would be some fear that might make it ineffective for you.
I certainly can't say it is 100% secure because nothing is, so while the risk may be small, I'd like to suggest other things to consider.
The first thing that I notice is that you have not said what your wife thinks about any of this, so I wonder if you have discussed it with her yet. If not, then that needs to be done before you will be able to investigate options and proceed. Perhaps you have and she's in agreement with you though, so I'll assume that for now.
My first thought is that you are unlikely to have to do a demonstration, and no therapist should "require" or pressure you to do anything you have concerns about, or just don't feel ready for, whether your concerns are about confidentiality, or anything else.
Without speaking or working with you I can't speculate on what might be needed, or what might work for you and your wife, but would be very unusual for you to need to be physically intimate together while the therapist is present (even by webcam), and I would not recommend that as a starting point.
So I question why you think that. Perhaps you've seen or read about this and are assuming that's what it would require? That certainly is not the case, and you might even find a couple's counsellor or therapist could be equally helpful. As I say, I can't really talk about you, so I'm speaking generally here, but most therapists with significant experience will have come across intimacy and sexual relationship issues, since they are very common and so important to us.
I hope this opens up some possibilities and alleviates your fear about what you might need to risk in order to address this. I'll be happy to respond to any other questions you may have, and hope you'll find a way that works for both of you, and brings the intimacy you want.