The Experience of Videoconferencing and Face-to Face Counselling from an Older Client’s Perspective
: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) Study

  • Joshua Bourne

Student thesis: PsychD


This thesis focuses on the experiences of videoconferencing and face-to-face counselling of clients ages 60 or older. Using qualitative methodology to provide insight into their accounts, it aims to enhance existing research in this area through the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The phenomenological and interpretive nature of this methodology allows for an in-depth look into individual perspectives in engaging with a therapist via both videoconferencing and in-person from within and on the periphery of the session itself. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and were carried out with five individuals (who were therapists-as-clients). These individuals have had at least six sessions of therapy with a minimum of at least one session conducted via videoconferencing technology, in this case using Skype (2017) video-chat internet technology. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using IPA. Analysis of the interviews yielded four superordinate themes. These were the salience of the physical space, suggesting that physical space remains important in videoconferencing therapy; resourcing the ending process, which indicates that both therapeutic modalities raise specific issues regarding how endings are managed. The relationship with the medium as a dynamic process emphasises that participants were able to work with videoconferencing technology despite having initial doubt. The fourth theme, the therapeutic relationship transcends the medium suggests that regardless of modality, it is the therapeutic relationship is of paramount importance. Implications of these themes are discussed both in terms of the theoretical understanding of older clients’ experiences of therapy and in terms of therapeutic practice.
Date of Award13 Mar 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorPaul Dickerson (Supervisor) & Rachel Darnley-Smith (Supervisor)


  • Therapy, videoconferenclng, counselling, face-to-face, IPA

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