For many, therapy is an effective tool for dealing with complicated emotions, managing an anxious or depressive period, or conducting a routine check-in to keep your mind sanity. Today, more than ever before, people are looking for methods to release stress and process their thoughts and feelings. But, COVID-19 and advances in digital connectivity and easy-to-use technologies, have allowed psychotherapists to adapt quickly to the new norm and offer online therapy sessions. Furthermore, online counselling platforms, such as TalktoAngel are seeing a surge in popularity and membership as people reach out to mental health professionals to deal with daily stressors of life, whether it's anxiety, depression, relationship problems, or work-related issues. Getting advice and support from an expert is always a wise decision, however, how can you get the most value out of these appointments online?
Here are some helpful tips to make the most of your online counselling sessions:
There are many platforms that offer online therapies. For instance, you could select a therapist who provides teletherapy in private practice or opt for online therapy through an online counselling platform like TalktoAngel which offers therapy and counselling in audio, video, and chat mode. Each mode has advantages and drawbacks, however, online therapy platforms, such as TalktoAngel could cost less than other platforms.
Make sure to plan your online counselling sessions for an hour if you are expecting minimal disruption. Make sure you have time on your calendar in the same way as if you go to the office of your therapist.
Join at least a few minutes prior to the beginning of the session. If you are using a platform that you are unfamiliar with and find technology intimidating, take your time getting familiar with the basics. Check that your microphone or camera, speakers/headphones as well as internet connection are operating effectively.
For example, you plan audio or video calls with your friends, and set meetings to discuss your ideas with colleagues, in order to make therapy effective, you must make it an absolute priority. For online counselling sessions, it's essential for you to set aside time and space to be focussed on your therapy session. Always remember that if your therapist is taking an effort to be there for you, you must be able to be focused and sincere about your sessions.
Therapy is supposed to happen in a secure, private, confidential, and non-judgment-free zone. Create a space within your office or home where you are free to speak with your online counsellor. It would help if you tried to avoid as many interruptions as you can. If you're short of room to use your phone from the comfort of any space you're are comfortable in, it could be your car or balcony.
Make sure you have a backup plan in the event of an interruption to your internet. Being aware of what you can expect if you or your therapist experience an issue with their connection relieves some of the anxiety of coping with an internet outrage.
Choose a relaxing and well-lit space for your session with minimal or no distractions is ideal. It's not essential to have a specific design for an office or home so long you feel comfortable and be able to speak freely without interruption. The presence of water and tissues being available with you can be helpful too.
During an in-person session with your therapist, both you and your counselor can discuss your feelings while being aware of each other’s non-verbal signals such as posture, eye contact, and facial expressions. When it comes to online therapy sessions, your access to non-verbal clues is smaller. Even if you feel awkward at first it will be useful to talk about your current moments and experiences verbally and try to tell everything about how you feel, and what are your emotions.
Notify your Online Counsellor if there is a feeling that something isn't right or is vital to address during any counseling session. To make the most of your therapy one needs to be collaborative as it is an open and transparent process. Don't be afraid to talk about your worries with your counsellor.
Increased accessibility to online therapy has allowed mental health services to be more easily accessible. But it also poses problems for both the therapist and the client. It's fine to tell your therapist that they should alter their volume or adjust their video or lighting to make the sessions less uncomfortable for you. It's also okay to give your therapist feedback, on the therapeutic relationship. You are able to tell your therapist when you feel that you're not benefiting from therapy or that your goals aren't being achieved. It's also okay to change your therapist if you want to.
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