Tips for Effective Online Therapy Sessions
Online therapy has become increasingly popular as more people seek convenient and confidential mental health support. While therapy via video chat offers many benefits, it also comes with some additional considerations and tips to keep in mind.
These are some practical tips and best practices to help ensure you have a positive experience with telehealth services:
Set Up a Private and Comfortable Space
Find a quiet area in your home without interruptions where you feel at ease opening up. Make sure good lighting, an ergonomic set-up, blank walls or a calming backdrop. A couch or armchair is ideal, not a desk chair.
Let people know not to disturb you. Turn off notifications on your devices and find alternatives like noise-canceling headphones if needed. A Therapy-Only Mindset will help you stay focused.
Get Comfortable With Cameras
Online therapy uses video so make sure you feel comfortable being on camera. Try out how the cameras work beforehand. Make eye contact directly with the camera as if speaking to your therapist face to face. With time, this will feel much more natural.
Take Notes or Set an Agenda
Discuss ahead of time what you want to address. Take notes on key points, thoughts or things you want to remember. An agenda ensures issues get adequate attention and nothing important is missed.
Be Fully Present
While screens may make you feel less exposed, adjust your mindset and open up as you would in person. Make rapport and trust your therapist as you would face to face. Share details that will help them support you effectively.
If ever feeling unsure about setup, camera angles or any logistics, ask your therapist for clarification or tips. Speak up if ever facing technological issues impacting the quality of sessions. Feel comfortable voicing any concerns you have about how online therapy is or is not helpful for you.
Technological Difficulties Do Not Make Online Therapy Less Valuable
Minor, occasional issues with internet connectivity or video/audio quality will happen. Do not get frustrated, remain patient and continue sharing as able. Your therapist should document important things discussed in the event anything gets missed due to technology. Overall, the human connection is key.
With practice, openness and the right mindset and tips, you can have extremely insightful and transformational online therapy sessions. But start with these recommendations to make the most of each session from the beginning.