Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have had to move therapy sessions from mostly in-person to strictly online, or telehealth. This is a change that we know can be challenging for some but there are ways to ensure you get the most out of a session.
Your mental health is extremely important and it doesn’t need to be put on hold during a pandemic, especially now that we are faced with a whole other slew of changes and challenges. Online therapy can be a great tool to get the support you need to feel your best.
Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your online therapy session:
Online Therapy Tip #1: Be Technologically Prepared
Give yourself time to check technology before signing into your therapy session. Check out your webcam and audio features. Try it with a friend or family member, if available, before starting your call. You won’t want to be fidgeting with technology during your session. Also, be sure to close browsers or other programs that might take up bandwidth on your device and slow your connection.
Online Therapy Tip #2: Find Privacy
Making sure you have privacy can be challenging but it is an important step to help you get the most out of your time. Put headphones in so you are more comfortable and no one outside can hear what the therapist is saying. Set up your device in an area where you don’t have to worry about interruption— a quiet room, a closet, even a parked vehicle. Try to schedule session appointments when you can obtain the most privacy.
Online Therapy Tip #3: Minimize Distractions
It can be easy to get distracted during an online therapy session. We are frequently in our homes or surrounded by other outside factors. If you have children set up a movie or ask a partner or other household member to take care of them while you are on your call. Put pets that might be noisy or require attention in another area or see if they will snuggle up next to you. Turn phones on silent or “do not disturb” settings so you aren’t distracted by texts or emails. This is your time to dive into your thoughts and focus on you.
Online Therapy Tip #4: Find A Well Lit Space
Try to set up your device in a well-lit location and place it far enough from you that the counselor will have a good view. A lot of communication is through facial expressions and body language. Your therapist will be better equipped to help you the better they can see you.
Online Therapy Tip #5: Get Comfortable
It is hard to open up and share if you are physically uncomfortable. Try to have your device resting somewhere so that you aren’t stuck holding it the whole time—we don’t want any arms or legs falling asleep. Stack up pillows behind your back so you can relax. If you are in a vehicle turn on the heat or air conditioning to keep the temperature controlled.
As daunting as it might be to switch from in-person to online therapy sessions, it can be a great tool towards taking care of yourself. We are here for you if you have questions or need help getting things set up for a session. Please don’t wait for life to get back to “normal” to get the help you need. You deserve to be happy now.
Since COVID-19 started Move Forward has been working with clients in Pittsburgh, State College, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Allentown, Erie, Gettysburg, and more throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We have online therapy availability, flexible times to help meet your needs, and accept a variety of insurances. Call 717-462-7003 x 1 to speak with our intake specialist.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.