Seeing a therapist is one of the healthiest and most helpful ways to work through some of the most complex human emotions, overcome trauma, and get through depressive episodes or periods of anxiety. Seeing a therapist is also good just to have a semi-regular check-in with your mental health and feelings.
In recent years, more people than ever before are seeking therapy online rather than physically travelling to a therapist’s office for their scheduled appointments. This transition has been welcomed for some, making sessions more accessible by eliminating transit to their therapist and allowing them to find the security of being in their own home. The important thing is that the options are available, whether you are seeking mental health counselling in Vancouver in person, or online in your own home.
If you are considering booking your first virtual appointment for your mental health, here are three tips for better online sessions with your therapist.
Find a comfortable and private spot
Online therapy means your sessions will be happening within the comforts of your own home. The emphasis here is on comfort. Therapy is a very personal and private matter, and depending on the nature of your counselling, you may not feel comfortable addressing these topics in the middle of your kitchen surrounded by family or roommates.
Finding an isolated place in your home where you can speak freely, such as your bedroom or an office, is recommended. If you have young children, consider scheduling your appointment when a partner can watch them or while they are in school or daycare to avoid any unwanted interruptions mid-session.
If space is an issue where you know your voice will be heard no matter what, consider asking those you live with to temporarily leave the house or even take the call from your car.
Cover your image on screen
When you’re having a discussion with your therapist, concentration and connection are important. It can be very tough to maintain this connection with your own reflection staring back at you your entire session. Think of it this way, would you want to be in a therapist’s office staring into a mirror the entire time? Consider putting something like a post-it note over the section of your screen where you see your face. This will help you avoid distractions like checking your posture, lighting, or insecurities and allow you to focus on the important aspects of your appointment.
Block out ample time
While you may no longer have to commute to a therapist’s office, making your appointment available at the click of a button, try not to fill all of your newly freed time up with work or other household tasks.
Blocking out time prior to your appointment will allow you time to test out your technical aspects like Wi-Fi and camera to avoid wasting valuable session time struggling with your tech. It is also a good time to prepare possible notes on what you would like to discuss with your therapist and mentally prepare yourself for your session.
It is also important to block out some time after your appointment to decompress and process or even journal about your session without having to jump immediately back into tasks that require critical thinking.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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