Okay, you’ve decided to look into online counseling. But before you make the leap or have your first session what should you do? How can you prepare? There are some tips and tricks you can use to make your session more comfortable. And, to be honest, a comfortable session is often a more effective one. Are you ready to get started?
Pick A Time That Works Best For Your Online Therapy Sessions
If you were doing an in-person session this is something you’d have to consider. It’s perhaps especially important when doing a session from home to address your depression, anxiety or PTSD. Telehealth for these issues can be very effective, but starting with a day and time that allows you comfort and ease is the first step.
Resist the temptation to squeeze your session between other strict time commitments.You might consider these questions as you set yourself up for work with your therapist:
● When is my energy best for trauma therapy sessions?
● Is there a day when I have more flexibility from work, school or other commitments?
● Is there a day and time that I feel more focused and less preoccupied?
● Does my spouse / partner have a day when they get home early?
● When and where will I have the most privacy to talk about my depression?
● Will I need to arrange childcare to be available at certain days or times?
Don’t Multitask During Online Counseling Sessions.
Be sure to set aside a time for therapy and treat it as sacred. You’ll need your full attention and energy to see through the brain fog of depression or the scattered thoughts of anxiety. One of the gifts of in-person office sessions is that it removes all distractions.
There’s no way you could move the clothes from the washer to the dryer during the session. You wouldn’t try to do a full face of makeup while your therapist taught you coping skills. It’s funny to think of it, right?
But the truth is, technology makes it all too convenient to multitask. So make a commitment to be fully present when you are meeting with your counselor for an online therapy session. Silence your phone. Turn the stove off. Put a movie on for the kids and set them up with snacks or, even better, arrange childcare if you can.
Minimize Interruptions For The Best Online Therapy
Sometimes interruptions are unavoidable but anything you can do to minimize them will be helpful in the big picture. Also, transitioning to online sessions can require some patience as you learn to use the technology so be sure to have your whole brain and body in the present moment.
Some simple steps you can take to minimize interruptions include your effort to:
● Arrange childcare during your sessions
● Occupy, put out or contain pets that may bark or otherwise be disruptive
● Ensure your devices are fully charged or have them plugged in
● Pause tasks and silence notifications that may distract you
Trust that the team at Guided Wellness has put aside all distractions to be present for your session. Whether we are showing up to service you with coping skills, EMDR therapy, PTSD recovery or healing from emotional abuse – we are here for you and your recovery.
Privacy Is Important For Online Counseling Services
If you are doing a session from home or your office be sure to create as much privacy as you need so that you can talk openly and honestly. If you are home with others you might try and go to a room where you can close the door. Even going to the garage or
your car might be an option. It’s important that you can say what you need to say without being fearful of offending or worrying others. Headphones, earbuds or other such devices can add to the level of privacy . Wearing headphones can also ensure that others do not hear your therapist talking.
Use Messaging To Supplement Counseling Sessions Online
If you cannot get away from others and feel that you cannot be totally honest consider using text or messaging to say what you need to say. Texting on your phone or messaging your therapist is great for brief notes or changes to your appointment. It should never be used to communicate sensitive or intimate information about yourself.
At Guided Wellness Counseling we use a phone service called Spruce that was designed for medical progressional. It’s designed to protect all your personal information and allow us to call, text and do video sessions from one service. It’s a great option if you need to send a quick note such as, “My kid just came into the room so I need to stop talking about XYZ…” or other details they cannot say aloud. Messaging also allows your therapist to send links, articles or other resources quickly for use in session.
Be Honest And Direct With Your Online Therapy Provider
In typical times we may have met in our St. George, UT office and had the ease of reading each other’s body language or picking up on subtle shifts in body language or facial expressions. Telehealth can make this a little more difficult.
With telehealth sessions it’s important to be extra clear about what you are feeling. Don’t leave it up to your therapist to guess that you’re feeling uneasy or emotional. Happily, sharing with this kind of clarity is a good skill to have for your emotional health and mood! Especially if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or PTSD.
So if you are confused about something, tell your therapist, “I’m confused about that.” If you are suddenly feeling triggered, anxious or overwhelmed I want you to literally say, “When I heard you say that I started feeling really overwhelmed.” You might be
surprised how online therapy will boost your communication skills.
Therapy Services For Southern Utah | 84770 | 84737 | 84780 | 84790
The team of therapists at Guided Wellness Counseling have worked with hundreds of clients over the years. For each person, there was a reason to start or not start counseling until just-the-right-time. But don’t let your anxiety or awkward feelings towards online counseling be your reason.
Let us help you troubleshoot the transition and decide if online therapy is right for you. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about online sessions or mental health in general. If you are sensing that your depression, anxiety, moodiness or PTSD is getting out of hand then now is the time to explore your options. We can do this together.