Many people are adjusting to life in new ways. One of those is the ability to engage in many online activities. You may already be working, exercising, or attending your medical appointments all in a digital space. Therapists use this same telemedicine technology, like video conferencing, to connect with clients struggling with a variety of mental health issues. If you’ve only ever attended (or thought about attending) therapy sessions in person, you may be wondering what it’s like to have an online therapy session. No worries, we’ll share some tips to help you go into your online counseling session prepared.
Although you don’t have to take time to drive to the office, make sure you have enough time to get your device set up before your appointment so you feel more relaxed and prepared. Don’t worry if things don’t go exactly as planned. Your therapist will help walk you through the necessary steps to connect if you run into tech issues. Taking some time to reset after the session can also be helpful as you transition back into regular tasks you have planned for the day.
Find A comfortable private space
Another top priority is preparing a comfortable, private space. This might be more of a challenge than some may anticipate– especially if you live with others in your home.
Find a comfy place where you feel safe and relaxed. This can be anywhere, bedroom, office, bathroom, basement, or even your car (if you have internet reception). Just make sure you’ll be undisturbed by others during your session. It’s ok to leave a note on the door to let others know you are busy. Therapy should be a place where you feel safe enough to be real and vulnerable. The few minutes it takes to prep your space will allow you to attend your session frazzle-free.
Block the noise
For additional privacy and to block out background noise, wear headphones connected to your device during your session. You can also download white noise apps for free on your phone (RelaxMelodies) and play white noise to drown out the noise from your session.
Making the connection
It would be a bummer to find out you’ve taken the time to set up your space just to find out your internet connection stinks. Make sure you have a strong internet connection before an online counseling session. The best connection is made by connecting an ethernet cable from your router to your computer. If you don’t have access to an ethernet cable, wireless wifi connection typically works just fine. If you don’t have wifi connection, you can always use the wireless hotspot from your phone data. Make sure your internet is up and running before your session so you can optimize your session time without having to restart your device.
Prepare and expect issues
Tech is always tricky so prepare yourself for there to be hiccups along the way. Talk with your provider about a backup or alternative plan in case technology fails. Having a plan beforehand can ease anxiety before the next session.
Come with questions and topics to discuss
This is your scheduled time so come prepared to talk about issues you want to address as well as any questions you have along the way. Write down questions, emotions, issues, and thoughts you have before and in between sessions. Share these notes with your therapist as you work collaboratively toward your treatment goals.
Online mental health therapy with Wilson Psychological Associates
To provide flexibility and meet the needs of our clients, Wilson Psychological Associates offers online counseling services to Bartlesville and surrounding areas.
Telehealth services from WIlson Psychological Associates are available to both adults, adolescents, children, families, and couples. Psychological and Neurocognitive Testing is also available online. You can call 918-337-6050 or contact us online at www.wilsonpsychological.com to learn more about our teletherapy services and to schedule an appointment.