Technology has made communicating and staying in touch with friends and family easier than ever. This same technology has also helped change psychiatry. Today, therapists can more easily communicate with their patients, including providing online therapy sessions.
Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, uses telemedicine technology, like video conferencing, to connect patients with mental health professionals. If you’ve never had a teletherapy session, we’ll share tips to help you go into online therapy prepared.
Test Your Technology Before Your Session
Because teletherapy relies on technology, one of the first things you should do to prepare for your online therapy session is to check and test your electronic devices. Ensure that any technology that you’ll need for your session is working properly and ready to go. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
- Check your device’s camera and microphone to make sure it’s picking up both audio and video.
- If you are using a headset, be sure your device is recognizing the external microphone.
- Make sure that your device’s battery is fully charged or that it’s plugged into a power source.
- Be sure that you are connected to Wi-Fi and that the signal is strong and reliable.
- Turn on Do Not Disturb or Silent mode on your devices and close out of any unnecessary browser tabs to limit distractions.
If you’re new to online therapy, especially if this is your very first teletherapy session, give yourself extra time to prepare and to become familiar with the technology and any software platform that you’ll be using. It’s okay, and is expected, to need time to adjust to the change.
Find A Comfortable Private Space
As important as ensuring your devices are working and ready for your session is preparing a comfortable, private space. This might be more of a challenge than most patients anticipate – especially if you live with other people.
First, find a place where you feel safe and comfortable. This can be a living room, bedroom, home office, or even kitchen. From there, make sure you’ll be left undisturbed by others during your session. Lastly, make sure that you’ll have adequate privacy. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your space:
- Use headphones or earbuds for better communication, to help block noises, and increase your privacy.
- Place a sign on the door or let the members of your household that you are on an important call and to not disturb you.
- If you need to, get creative: use your garage, car, attic, or even your basement. Just be mindful of any outside ambient noise.
- Create a comfortable space with pillows and blankets, or light a candle to help create a soothing atmosphere. It’s important to feel relaxed and safe during your session.
It may take you time to find the best place for you to have therapy sessions, and that’s okay. Be ready to try different spaces until you find the spot that works best for you.
Come Prepared With Questions And Topics To Discuss
While online therapy allows you to meet with your therapist virtually from your own home, you should still prepare for an online session just like you would an in-office visit. This means coming prepared with questions and topics to discuss with your therapist.
Online sessions should be treated exactly how you would treat a traditional session. To make the most of your time, do not fall into the habit of thinking virtual sessions are more casual or less structured. In fact, you should expect to communicate more as you adjust and become comfortable with the online format. Here are a few tips to follow to help you communicate effectively:
- Be clear and descriptive about your emotions. It can be challenging to interpret body language and facial expressions through video.
- Use technology to send concerns or issues to your therapist ahead of time.
- Provide your therapist with feedback about your sessions. This can include issues that you are having with the platform, or ways that you can both communicate more effectively.
Whether your session is in-office or online, honesty and openness are important for effective treatment. One of the best ways you can prepare is to be ready to share your thoughts and your emotions.
Online Mental Health Therapy With Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare
To provide flexibility and meet the needs of our clients, Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare offers online therapy services for our mental and behavioral health programs.
Telehealth programs from Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare are available to both adults and adolescents. You can call 866-805-6485 or contact us online to learn more about our teletherapy services and to schedule an appointment.