4 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Online Therapy Session
The continuous advancement of technology has made it possible for counselors to offer teletherapy or online counseling to their patients. Teletherapy is a virtual or remote therapy that uses videoconferencing software for the therapist or counselor and the patient to communicate. An online therapy session can come in several forms, such as:
- Using an online group chat for group counseling
- Doing therapy via instant chat or email
- Videoconferencing for couples, individuals, or group therapy
- Utilizing apps that offer therapy
In terms of effectiveness, research states that online counseling can be just as effective as in-person therapy; the only difference is the method of communication. More people are also choosing online therapy over in-person therapy due to its benefits, such as:
- Less inconvenience from traveling or commuting
- More privacy and avoid sitting in the therapy office’s crowded waiting room
- The comfort of being in your own space
- Easier access to care
How To Make The Most Of Your Teletherapy?
Wherever state or province you’re from, you can take advantage of online counseling. For instance, if you’re in Canada, you can book an appointment with a licensed online counselling Canada therapist and seek help or advice for your mental health. You won’t have to worry about your therapist’s location or spend time and money commuting as you can attend online counseling from the comfort of your home.
If you’ve been so used to in-person therapy for a long time or have never tried teletherapy once, you may be wondering how this transition will work for you. Below are some tips to help you adjust and make the best out of your teletherapy sessions.
1. Designate A Safe And Private Space For Your Therapy Sessions
While you can choose to conduct your online therapy sessions anytime and anywhere, you should avoid this approach if possible. Not having a designated time and space for your online therapy sessions will only lead to distractions. You’re also likely to have difficulty concentrating on your therapy sessions if you have your online therapies in public areas or noisy rooms.
Thus, before your online counseling starts, find a place in your home to act as a private counseling room. It can be your bedroom or a spare room in the house. Lock the doors to preserve privacy and ensure no one enters the room during the counseling session.
This room must also be free from potential distractions like a TV, radio, and other things that are not part of the session. You can customize your room to make it as comfortable, contained, and warm as you prefer. You can add plants, more pillows, and ambient lights to make you feel at ease throughout the session.
2. Be Flexible With The Format Of Your Counseling Sessions
Some counselors may use different platforms for your counseling, such as videoconferencing, messaging, or audio calls. If you’re good with any of the options, you can be flexible and explore different formats to find out which platform works best for you.
You may prefer messaging if you’re living with a big family and do not have access to a private space. Meanwhile, people who require more personal interaction may prefer videoconferencing to feel more connected with their therapists or counselors. Overall, one of the best things about teletherapy is that you have plenty of tools and options for how you wish to do your online counseling sessions.
3. Be More Vocal And Explicit In Naming Your Emotions And Problems
Unlike in-person therapy, wherein your counselor can read you through your facial expressions and body language, they may not be able to do that during online therapy. Thus, to make the most of your teletherapy and ensure your counselor fully understands your situation, you must practice being more vocal and explicit in naming your problems and emotions.
For example, instead of saying, ‘I’m feeling down,’ you can be more specific with what’s causing you to feel such. Your therapist or counselor will usually be able to guide you to be more detailed in expressing your thoughts and emotions. Whether in-person or online, therapy can help you practice self-awareness and self-expression.
4. Utilize The Unique Benefits Of Teletherapy
Since online counseling is accessible in its unique way, there are some things you can do and integrate with it that you may not be able to do during in-person therapy. For instance, you may not be allowed to take your pets with you during in-person therapy, especially if the counselor’s office is not pet-friendly.
But with online counseling, you can bring your pets inside your designated ‘counseling room’ and introduce them to your counselor. You can talk about how your pets have helped your mental and emotional health.
Another example is that instead of seeing your therapist once a week or once a month for sessions, you can send them more regular updates about you through calls or messages. You can also share them your gratitude list or journal entries over text or call during stressful times.
Overall, online therapy is one of the best technological innovations that help make mental healthcare more accessible. It uses devices that most people are familiar with, making it an easy and accessible solution, especially during stressful and isolating times.
It can also be equally powerful and beneficial in managing your mental health. So, if you need help or guidance from a professional mental health therapist, don’t hesitate to opt for teletherapy and use these tips to make the best of it.