Dr. Anthony, Kate to us all, undertook some of the first systematic Masters’ level research into the use of the Internet for creating therapeutic relationships, when the World Wide Web was still young. At a time when most therapists were still averse to allowing technology anywhere near their clientele, Kate recognised that clients themselves were already using it and saw that working with them had special requirements and risks that needed to be addressed. She wrote a series of textbooks, numerous book chapters and edited symposia as well as co-authoring the first really detailed set of ethical guidance for online therapy, updating them repeatedly as the march of communications technology continued.
Perhaps her proudest achievements were the trainings that have been described as setting the “gold standard” for practitioners to work online and, with DeeAnna Merz Nagel, the creation of the Online Therapy Institute itself. Often described as an inspirational person in both her private and professional life, the field of online therapy would not have become what it is without her work.
Her public works led to a doctorate awarded by the Metanoia Institute for her innovations and contribution to advancing the cutting edge of counselling and psychotherapy. It was typical of her quiet, often understated, talent and ability that her thesis was described by the examiners as going “above and beyond” the standards required of even that highest of academic awards.
Despite never putting herself forward for accolades, she was proud to have been made a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and she held an honorary position with the Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Online. Her work also encompassed specialist interests in domestic violence, online men’s health services and problem gambling, serving with the UK governmental Gambling Commission, and addictions, helping to found the “1st Step Recovery Café” in Linlithgow, which is still operating to this day. When the 2019/2020 pandemic hit, and suddenly everyone found it imperative to transfer their work online, she worked with her colleagues to create a special programme, available for free when that was needed, that provided vital skills and training to well over 14,000 practitioners. Her achievements surpassed what most practitioners ever think to dream of.
Her private life, too, exhibited strength and tenacity consistently surpassing what others, even medical specialists, expected. She fought back from two strokes that initially left her 50% paralysed to become a qualified yachtswoman just 18 months later. She faced her last illness with the same stoic dignity that typified all she did, eventually succumbing to cancer on the 2nd of July 2023. Making it to that date, which was her 54th birthday, had been her final goal. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, both personally and professionally.
Dr. DeeAnna Merz Nagel, co-founder, Online Therapy Institute and dear friend to Kate
Dr. Stephen Goss, Research & Development Director, Online Therapy Institute and husband to Kate