The healthcare industry is getting a significant makeover with the help of technology. And with innovations such as telemedicine, virtual appointments with medical professionals are becoming more common. Also, it’s a fitting transition, especially with the ongoing necessity of limiting social interactions.
Normalising online therapy sessions
Online therapy is perhaps one of the earliest applications of virtual healthcare. For therapists, it makes sense to offer an alternative to in-person sessions, especially when the patient’s condition requires it. Today, many providers receive excellent feedback regarding therapy services provided through virtual channels. According to these Talkspace reviews, counselling is made more convenient when the patient gets to choose virtual channels, such as chat and video calls.
Moreover, most people today are comfortable with technology, thus making it easier to adapt to online counselling and therapy sessions. Nevertheless, it’s still critical to ensure that when you do decide to transition from in-person to virtual meetings with your therapist, you get to maximise the benefits of the new delivery method.
Here are tips for preparing for your first virtual therapy:
Choose a delivery method that works best for you
Online therapy is available through a variety of channels. For instance, some platforms specialise in providing mental healthcare services through chat, phone, and video conferencing. Aside from these platforms, you can also speak to your therapist if there’s an option to move from in-person counselling to virtual meetings. Choosing a delivery method is crucial, especially when it comes to convenience and your comfort level.
The importance of preparing the right environment
Therapy is supposed to be a safe space where you can be vulnerable and share your deepest thoughts and emotions. Therapists go to great lengths to prepare the right environment to help their clients feel at ease. Since the session is virtual, it’s your responsibility to control your surroundings. As much as possible, look for a private space within your home where you won’t get interrupted. Instead of using your computer’s speakers, have a headphone ready instead. If you can, find a way to limit noise coming from outside.
Always test your device and connection before starting the session
For online therapy sessions, you’ll need a reliable internet connection. When it comes to the tech or device you’re using, you need to be familiar with the process, especially if you need to download an app or create login credentials. Before you begin your first meeting, test the device first, especially the volume. It’s also best to close out other programs and apps running in the background of your device to prevent lags and connection problems.
Don’t overlook your privacy
Transitioning to online therapy sessions should give you the same peace of mind when it comes to privacy and security. First, check the provider’s encryption protocols as well as their safety procedures when communicating with clients online. It would also be best to verify if the therapist adheres to the same ethical guidelines used by in-person therapists.
Verify if your insurance covers online sessions
Lastly, you’ll need to verify with your insurance provider if they will cover online sessions. Mental health care is typically included, but some providers are stricter when it comes to exclusions which is why it’s essential to inquire first before transitioning to virtual therapy.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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