These latest social distancing measures have meant a lot of our personal interactions have had to shift online, including therapy sessions. This can feel a bit unsettling, particularly if you are used to, or were gearing up speak to a therapist face to face. However, online therapy can be a really helpful support system, especially in this worrying time.
To help you through the transition, here a six quick tips:
1. Find a quiet space
You don’t have to find the “perfect” therapy space, all candles and plants and soft lighting. Just find a quiet spot where you feel comfortable and aren’t going to be distracted or overheard. Using headphones can really help things to feel more private and help you to hear more clearly.
2. Make sure you know how to set up all your technology
Technology fails us at the best of times, but you don’t want to get all flustered before your session. Make sure you understand what technology you are using and what the plan is. Usually your therapist will make this clear, but if you’re unsure of anything, just ask! Make sure you’ve got decent internet connect and if you can, try to use video but, if you can’t, try to explain how you are feeling as wont be able to pick up on physical cues.
3. Give yourself time to prepare mentally
It’s not just the technology that needs time to warm up. As well as making time to get set up, take a little bit of time to prepare what you want to say and get yourself in the right frame of mind. A few deep breaths and some mental note taking before you sign in can help you get the most of your session.
4. Don’t worry if it feels a bit awkward at first
Whether you’re used to going to face-to-face therapy before or this is your first experience, online therapy is always a bit awkward at first. In fact, therapy in general can feel a bit awkward! It’s helpful to talk about this with your therapist, and see if they have any tips. If their used to face-to-face sessions, they might be a bit nervous themselves too! Some people even find “tele-therapy” easier and less nerve-wracking than face-to-face.
5. Give yourself a cool down period
If you’re doing a therapy session at home, it’s tempting to just close up when you’re done and get on with your day straight away. However, if you were going to a defined place, you would spend a little time leaving and travelling etc. Seems minor but in that time, you do a lot of processing and resetting. So build in just five minutes of quiet time for thinking, doodling, writing, or even a few stretches.
6. Do something nice afterwards
Even a light-touch therapy session can take it out of you. Make sure you plan something nice for yourself afterwards like a walk (if you can!), a relaxing shower or even just a good brew.
Take care x