By Anna Passyn, LPC
You did it! You called and made an appointment to see a therapist. What a relief. And, as a bonus, the session is online. No commuting, no waiting. All of the hassles you were hoping to avoid will be avoided. So now what?
While you don’t have the typical concerns to contend with, you will still want to prepare for your online therapy session. Here are some things to consider:
- Picking a Place– while you can be “anywhere” when you meet with your therapist, it is important to choose a place that is quiet and private – and will stay quiet and private for the duration of your session. You don’t want your roommate or coworker walking in during the middle of your session!
- Take 5– without the commute and the traffic, it may be tempting to insert your 12:00 therapy appointment in between your 11:00 and 1:00 meetings. Remember, the more attentive you are in your session, the more you’ll get out of it. Plan to be out of your last meeting or class at least 5 minutes before the start of your session so you can leave that behind and think about what you would like to talk with your therapist about; likewise, at the end of the session, allow yourself at least 5 minutes before moving back into the routine of your day, so you can reset before the next meeting or class begins.
- Wait, What? – there’s no substitute for attention. Seeing your therapist on a screen, instead of sharing physical space can feel like a temptation to multitask. There are so many things you can do while you’re talking! Folding laundry, checking your phone…but you’re not just talking. You’re thinking and feeling, processing and problem solving– and that requires a lot of attention. Put your chores and friends on hold for this one hour and take advantage of the expertise, perspective and support your therapist offers.
As with in–person therapy, there is a great benefit to setting goals for therapy. Talk with your therapist about what you want to get out of therapy and how you’ll know when you’ve reached your goals: “I want to feel less depressed ” is a start, but something more specific, “I want to be able to enjoy the free time I have with my friends or partner” might be a gauge that more accurately measures your progress. Lastly, your therapist can only work with the information you share – if you hold back vital information, your progress toward wellness might take longer. You’re there for a reason, get ready and get the most out of it that you can.
Georgetown Psychology offers this online therapy in 9 states with licensed therapists on our HIPAA-secure platform, Theranest. For more information on online therapy, please visit our website www.georgetownpsychology.com/services/online-therapy/