If you are reading this you may be considering the idea of starting online therapy. With everything that is going on these days with COVID-19, online therapy may be the only feasible option for you to begin receiving therapy services, but you may not realize the many benefits of online therapy:
- Familiarity: You can grab your favorite blanket, wear comfortable clothes, and even have your pet with you. I’ve worked with several individuals who had their dog with them during their therapy session – it made such a difference! They were able to express much more than they were used to because of their sense of comfort and familiarity.
- Save Time: You don’t have to commute to an office, find parking, and sit in the waiting room.
- Wider Selection Of Therapists: You don’t have to find one within a reasonable radius of your home or workplace – you can find anyone in the state you reside in. It is hard enough to find a therapist that you feel comfortable and safe with. Online therapy opens up the possibilities of finding a great fit for you. (Remember to always take advantage of free consultations to see if the therapist’s interpersonal style is a good match for you).
Before starting any type of therapy, it is common to feel anxious, stressed, scared, and maybe even worried that it won’t work for you.
It may feel weird when you start, but here are some strategies that you can implement to make the process as smooth as possible.
- Get prepared – It is important for you to have a private, quiet area for you to have your therapy session. You may even want to have a comfortable blanket and a bottle of water next to you. Remember to also have a box of tissues like I would supply if you were in my office.
- Set up your equipment ahead of time – It is also a good idea to make sure that your device has whatever software your therapist is using already set up on your computer. Test out your microphone and camera to make sure they are working before you have your scheduled session.
- Be ready to adapt – You may experience some technological issues when beginning an online therapy session. This is OK. Make sure you have a plan with your therapist on what to do if a tech issue happens. Usually, most issues can be resolved in a minute or two.
- Remember this is real therapy – Research suggests that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy. If you are interested, here is one article that evaluates telehealth and online counseling.
At the end of the day, it is important for you to feel comfortable with your therapist and with the modality of therapy. No matter where you are, your therapy should always be taken seriously. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.