Sunday, December 15, 2013

Online Psychology for Communication and Coping with Cultural Issues. An Interview with Judith Zur.

Clinical psychologist Judith Zur offers international online therapy and life coaching specializing in trauma and inter-cultural relations. We interviewed her about the application of online therapy to cultural issues and geographic isolation.

Judith, can you say a little about yourself and background including what brought you to work as a therapist and life coach? What aspects of your character and personality do you bring to this work?

I am a British American clinical psychologist, family therapist, social anthropologist and life coach who has lived many years in the UK, Mexico and the USA. My personal background has made me more aware, sensitive and empathic towards people's plights, suffering and difficulties in communication and coping (among other issues). This subsequently led me to choose my profession as a therapist and life coach.  The relevant aspects of my character include true interest in people, their family histories and dynamics, caring and the belief in peoples' ability to overcome hardship, to change and to make better choices.

What are the advantages of online therapy and coaching that have you offering these services to people in different parts of the world?

Online therapy allows me to offer therapy to people all over the world without them having to travel to a consultation room. It allows me to be of help to people for whom traditional therapy is inaccessible. It also allows some people to be more open when they are physically close. People can feel more comfortable about disclosing aspects of their lives when they are in their own environment and space. For some people time is an issue so being able to access therapy without spending extra time for transport and travel to and from sessions makes therapy possible for them.

You specialize in trauma, inter-cultural relations and working with refugees. In terms of these specific areas, what do you think are the benefits of working online?

Finding someone who specialises in these areas is not easy so working online makes me accessible in distant places around the world. The benefits of working online are also that I am able to work with people who are facing challenges associated with the forced or voluntary relocation to a new culture. There are also benefits from working with a therapist from a similar cultural background as the client and or one who places a high value on knowing the culture of all clients.

Can you give some examples of who might be your typical online clients?

Some typical clients are:
  • People who want coaching on a specific short-term issue, which is problem, focused, task oriented and builds on people's resources. 
  • People who seek therapy and are wishing to resolve more deep-seated problems whether as individuals, couple or families.  
  • Individuals who speak English or Spanish and as well as families who speak both languages and want to be coached or receive therapy in their mother tongue. 
  • Those who would like their issues to be understood from within their cultural context or bi cultural families for whom some of their issues revolve around their difference in culture.
Do you have a preference for working online, for example, via email or web-cam or voice-only technology? Is there particular software you prefer and, if so, why?

My preference is working via web cam where I can be seen and also see body language, facial expressions and generally feel less distance between the client and myself. This is the closest one can get to face-to-face contact without actually sharing a room. However I have also worked using voice only, chatting and email and am not opposed to working in this way.

What advice would you give to clients who are unsure about whether an online therapy or life-coaching appointment is right for them?

If possible I would suggest that they try both options and in this way discover which process suits them better.

How do you think online therapy and counselling should be promoted in Britain and around the world?

I think we need to make clear what these processes involve and offer positive feedback from both types of approaches.

Take a look at Judith’s page on Therapy Market if you would like more information about her services. And you can sign up here to become a Therapy Market coach, counsellor or therapist.

1 comment:

  1. Please contact me at if you are interested in contacting me: Judith Zur