What is online therapy?
Online therapy is similar to in-office therapy, however, it is done with a HIPPA compliant virtual meeting service, such as Zoom or Google Hangout. Online therapy can be done from the comfort of your home, and is a great option if you cannot make it into the office due to health, convenience, or other personal issues. As always, online therapy sessions are confidential and the therapist will conduct the session in a private setting. Individual, couples, and group counseling can all take place with online counseling.
How should I prepare for an online therapy session?
Here are some steps you can take to make sure you are getting the most out of your online therapy session:
- Schedule your session time around your routine, and the routine of those you live with. Make sure you choose a time that you know you will have some privacy. It’s best to minimize interruptions and distractions to create a space where you feel comfortable sharing whatever you are feeling in a given moment. If you are comfortable doing so, let the people you are living know that you will be having an online therapy session and need space to yourself.
- Create an experience that feels like you are headed into an office. This can be done by choosing a spot you can return to for multiple sessions, and taking a short break (10-15 minutes) before your meeting as if you were commuting to the office.
- To further create a comfortable environment for your session, try getting dressed. It might be tempting to stay in your loungewear if you are having your therapy session from home, but changing into a casual outfit can help put you in the right mindset for your meeting, just as if you were headed into public for an in-office session.
Is online therapy right for me?
There are many benefits to both online counseling and in-office counseling. The biggest advantage of meeting with your therapist through an online video call service is convenience. If the therapist you feel most comfortable with works far from your home, you might choose to meet with them online, instead of having in-office sessions with a therapist you are less open with. It is also useful if you have a busy schedule and can’t take the time out of your day to leave your home. This might be because you are a stay-at-home parent or work from home. These duties may make it difficult for you to visit a therapist in their office, but they should not hinder your abilities to see a therapist at all. However, if you find it difficultly to feel safe in your home, whether it is the area around your home or the people you live with, online counseling may not be the best option for you. It is important that you carry out your sessions in an environment that you are comfortable sharing your thoughts and opinions in, and that might mean in a place separate from your home life.