I first became aware of online therapy, sometimes called teletherapy, when I was looking for my own therapist.
I was on my journey exploring ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and had gone as far as I could on my own, through reading and utilizing my own therapeutic abilities. I didn’t even know where the best place was to take a professional course on ACT. Instead, I sought out an experienced therapist who focused solely on ACT. I found the person I wanted to work with but she lived overseas. The only way we could work together was online.
I was not excited about doing it online but I went forward because she was the very best match for my needs and I thought what could a session or two hurt? Oh my gosh, I just loved it! Not only was I stunned by the emotional/therapeutic connection that was possible online, but I loved the fact that I didn’t have to drive to yet another appointment. Eventually, it occurred to me that online therapy was what I wanted to do professionally, as well.
If you are reluctant to start online therapy, I get it!
However, after my own amazing experience, if you feel an online-only therapist, is otherwise a great fit for you, I strongly encourage you to at least try a 30 minute free consultation. You may be pleasantly surprised, I know I was!!
As for the mechanics of it, you will need a smart phone, a tablet or a computer and an internet connection strong enough to stream Netflix and a private space where you can talk.
In fact, many folks, do online therapy in their cars, during their lunch hour!
Our video call may seem a lot like FaceTime or Skype but would be done through a HIPAA-secure platform that protects your privacy just as much as possible. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Pro Tips and Suggestions For Online Therapy (aka Teletherapy)
Do it in a quiet, comfortable, and private space.
Dress comfortably but appropriately.
Make sure you’ve eaten/you’re not hungry.
Have a box of tissues, a glass of water, and perhaps a notebook if you like to take notes or write things down, nearby.
Having your kitty or pup in the room might be comforting (you know best on this one!)
Do a test call if offered by the Video Services Provider, especially if you are at all nervous or unsure about using the technology or if you are worried that it may not function properly with your WiFi connection.
Close all extra windows and programs out of your computer or device for optimal internet connection.
Ask other household members to close down programs like Netflix or video gaming programs or similar, if you suspect there might be a problem with internet speeds.
Sign on early so that you have time to click all the buttons and find your way around an unfamiliar program.
You can also have a few notes of what you most want to discuss on hand, if you are really motivated or know what you want to talk about, These can include:
- what’s bothering you the most;
- your symptoms, problematic behaviors, unhelpful thoughts and uncomfortable feelings;
- your relationship interactions and
- what you would like to get out of therapy
If all else fails, just show up. We can figure this all out together.