As I prepare for my first session of the day, I settle down at my computer, log on to my Skype account, and review the completed questionnaire emailed to me by a prospective client. The hour ahead will be an initial consultation. It’s early morning in my time zone, late in the evening for him: Because of the time difference between Sydney, Australia, and the east coast of the United States, this was the only hour that worked for both of us.
At 8 o’clock on the dot, I initiate the Skype video call. I can see my client’s face clearly, though the picture is a bit dark. He lives in a shared flat, he tells me, and doesn’t want to disturb his flatmates so late at night, so he is speaking to me from his parked car via iPad. A nearby streetlamp spills light through the windshield, enough to let me read his facial expressions. All in all, it’s a good first session. We connect.
Since I began working by Skype three years ago, I’ve grown accustomed to “meeting” with my clients in various locations. Kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, basements, private offices, hotel rooms. One session took place in a client’s childhood bedroom when he went home to visit his parents for the High Holy Days. And my new Sydney client was not the first to speak to me from his car. One of my former clients occasionally propped his iPhone on the dashboard and spoke to me while driving long distances from one city to another. Sometimes if he knew cell coverage would be spotty, he’d pull over and finish our session in a parking lot or on the side of the road.