Starting Teletherapy

The pandemic has created challenges in almost every walk of life. This is even more apparent for your mental health and the ways in which you deal with your anxiety and fears. With social distancing measures in place, teletherapy, or virtual therapy, is a wonderful alternative option. While not providing the traditional physical, in-person meeting, teletherapy still provides the opportunity to build powerful relationships between you and your therapist. It is still creates a safe and supportive environment for you to share your anxieties. For some, being in their own space helps them open up emotionally. So, if the idea of teletherapy is leaving you a little uneasy, here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for your session and create a comfortable environment:

  • Find a Private Space

    This is especially true if you live with other people. Talking with your therapist is very personal. It is important that you feel safe to speak your thoughts and feelings without others overhearing or walking into your session. Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable and away from noise, interruptions, and distractions. This can be in a bedroom, basement, or even a parked car. Consider using headphones or earbuds to improve sound quality and help keep you focused.

  • Make sure you have Good Cell and/or Internet Connection

    Not having a good connection can hinder and disrupt the course of your session. Since your teletherapy session can be through a computer, tablet or smartphone, you will want to make sure that your quiet space offers adequate internet access. If you can easily hold a conversation on FaceTime or steam a YouTube video, that is a good sign that your internet connection is good.

  • Have a Clear Mind

    If you were traveling to a therapy session you would have time to collect your thoughts. With teletherapy, it is a good idea to have a “transition period” before you start your session. This can be as simple as taking a walk or making a list of things you would like to discuss. It is important to disconnect from your work, childcare or general home activity, so you can focus on your session.

  • Think of therapy as time for yourself

    This is your time. It is a break from work, childcare and general home activity It gives you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts, feelings and anxieties and provides a much-needed outlet and professional guidance as you make your way through this time. To help you remain focused you can write a list of topics you would like to discuss and avoid engaging in any tasks you wouldn’t do if you were in an in-person session, such as folding laundry, smoking or cooking.

If you are feeling nervous or awkward about teletherapy, don’t let that stop you from trying it. Be patient. After a few sessions, many people lose any feelings of awkwardness or discomfort.

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