As a psychologist and psychotherapist working online, I offer counselling through video, chat, email and phone to people from all over the world. Want to know how it all started? Read more here…

 

online psychologist

My journey to become an Online Psychologist

I remember very precisely the moment when I first thought about taking a sabbatical and travelling around the world. It was almost 4 years ago, I was walking around a lake in Leipzig, Germany with two friends. One of them, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, asked me about my career plans. I was finishing my PhD about depression and stress and my contract would be up in a year. At the time there were two main options for me. I could try to stay in research and pursue an academic career or I could open my own private practice as a psychotherapist. The latter seemed more likely, as I really liked working as a psychotherapist, and even though research was fascinating, I missed the immediate work with patients. This is what I told him. And then I spontaneously added: “or maybe I will go travel the world”. I don’t know where the idea came from, but from then on there was that little voice at the back of my head… And so it came. About 6 months before my contract ended, I decided to take a year off before opening my own private practice back home. I had saved enough money and if not now, when? Once I would have opened that practice, it would be a lot more difficult to travel for extended periods of time… But as you may guess, my plans changed a bit and I did not open my practice in Germany…

3 years ago…

But let’s first take a step back. A little under 3 years ago I was about to finish my PhD thesis and my full-time contract was coming to an end. I had booked a flight leaving only 6 days after my last day of work and there where many last minute changes needing to be done in my dissertation. And there was a public holiday that would interfere with the printing of my thesis. Of course, I also needed to pack. So yes, it was a crazy time, I was busy handing over my ongoing tasks to my colleagues and finishing my dissertation, and as often when everything is a bit too much, I got sick. But my flight was booked and I somehow survived. I even managed to finish my dissertation last minute (yes, deadlines help) and did not have to resort to plan B. Only a few hours later, there I was, wandering around Chicago, the first stop of my trip. It took me at least a week to get out of my hyperactive and stressed mode and manage to enjoy autumn in Chicago. Aimlessly walking around the city, reading, drinking coffee and more than anything else: not working. Over the course of the next few months, I travelled around the US and Canada, Mexico and South East Asia, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends or family visiting for a few weeks. And then, one day, on a beach in Thailand, a Spanish girl told me, that she keeps talking to her psychologist while travelling – through skype. That’s when I realised, that there might be a way for me to keep travelling while working at the same time…

2 years ago…

In summer 2015 I flew back to Germany, as planned, to defend my PhD-thesis. I had prepared my talk mostly while sitting in a beach café on a small island in Thailand. But I did not return to Germany to settle down. I only flew back for a few weeks, long enough to see friends and family and get my PhD before I was off again, flying back to Asia. This time without a return flight or clear plans on when or if I would ever go back to settle. Those around me mostly thought I was crazy, that it would be an extended sabbatical and that I would eventually come back to my senses (once the money ran out). Life in paradise couldn’t go on forever, could it? Very few thought I was serious or could actually work online as a psychologist. Of course I had my own doubts. I had decided to try and see where this journey would lead. So I set up a website and developed my concept and offers, all the while living on a small island in Thailand and enjoying good weather and great food. Since then I have learned that it is not only possible to work as an Online Psychologist, but that I can reach people who would or could not go see a therapist offline. To do my work and help people, I really don’t need more than my laptop and a decent internet connection.

And today?

When I wrote the German version of this blog post a few months ago, I was sitting in a small café in a suburb of Adelaide, Australia. Today, I am writing in a café in Hanoi, Vietnam. Later today I will be back in my apartment to talk to a client living in Europe about his relationship issues. Soon I will be back in Europe for a few months myself, spending time with family and friends, drinking wine and eating cheese. Sometimes I spend a few months in one place, sometimes only a few days. But wherever I go, I will keep working as an Online Psychologist, counselling people from all over the world through video sessions, chat, email or phone. Helping them overcome their mental issues. As long as there is a decent internet connection.

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If you want to know more about my online counselling and my journey to become an Online Psychologist, contact me! For links and tips around my work and psychology in general, follow me on Facebook. If you want to know more about where I am and what I am doing, check out my Instagram.