Changing therapy from in-person to online has increased greatly since COVID-19. This is not a new way of doing therapy, and at Lepage Associates we have been providing online therapy for over 10 years.
Now that you have chosen to receive online therapy, you want it to be as successful as possible! Keep the following 7 suggestions in mind to make the most of your online therapy experience.
- Make therapy a priority by having a set time and a safe/quiet place to participate. It is true that online therapy can be done anywhere at any time, but it is important to set yourself up for success. Therapy is emotional in nature and it is best when you are free of distractions and have privacy to experience and process emotions.
- Expect a different experience, recognizing that it may take a session or two to feel in-sync with your therapist online. It is easy to assume that any discomfort or awkwardness indicates this is not working for you, when in fact that can be normal at first. Keep an open mind and let your therapist know if you are having difficulty with the transition to online.
- Online therapy gives you an opportunity to custom fit what works best for your situation. Typically, online therapy is received over webcam. You have the option to explore different combinations of phone, text, audio, and video to accommodate your needs.
- There are some things you can do with online therapy that you can’t do in an office. For example, you can have your pets present, you can wrap up in a blanket, you can sit outside, or you can share your home environment. Take advantage of these and use them to your benefit.
- Take the opportunity to increase your self-awareness. During in-person therapy, we often count on the therapist reading our nonverbal cues. Online therapy creates an opportunity to be more descriptive and in tune with how you are feeling.
- With COVID-19, we are all experiencing additional challenges to daily life. You might see some of these challenges as an overreaction or you may minimize these challenges. Be open and honest with yourself and your therapist even if you feel it is “silly” to bring it up.
- Give your therapist feedback so they can do more of what you find helpful, and less of or eliminate what isn’t helpful. This is your therapy, and you can practice speaking up for yourself in a safe environment with a safe person. Since every client is unique, you need to let your therapist know what works for you!