How to make the most of online therapy

Online therapy is a great way to seek support from the comfort of your home.  Doing sessions online enables you to continue working with your therapist across distance or during any “lockdown” conditions where face-to-face contact is not possible or may not be preferable.  Many people have busy lives with multiple responsibilities (e.g. shift work, children, pets etc).  Given these many demands, the commute to therapy might be a barrier to receiving the help and support we most need.  Thankfully we are able to offer psychology sessions via video link or telephone.

  1. Videolink is preferred, but Telephone is acceptable

Videolink such as Zoom is a great way to still have the advantage of facial interaction.  If you live in an area with weak internet signal, you may find you need to use telephone service instead.  This is also an acceptable mode of therapy.  Please make sure you have already downloaded the videolink service (“zoom”) before your session, and that you understand how to open the secure link to your session that will be provided by your therapist ahead of time.

  1. Ergonomic considerations

Please find a comfortable space for your session.  Consider placing your screen so that you are at a comfortable distance.  Some people find it better to take an option that has only your therapist’s face visible. Often the default settings show both faces on screen at the same time, but it can be rather distracting to have your own face in front of you during a therapy session.  It certainly is not that way for an in-person session!

  1. Privacy matters

To get the most out of your video/telehealth session it is important to plan ahead a little.  Make sure you have a private space where you will not be interrupted.  A study or bedroom with a door you can close is preferable.  

If there is anyone else at home with you, make sure that they understand that you will not be available for the therapy hour, and for the moments immediately after.  

  1. The after-therapy window

Consider what your privacy needs may be in the time after the session.  It is important to allow yourself some time to reflect after a session. Whatever you are working on in therapy, whether it is deeply sensitive or more “routine” you will maximise your therapy process by taking a few moments to sit and reflect, to journal or take a gentle walk.  As important as the therapy hour is, so is the time between sessions where you ponder, reflect and work with the things discussed in session. If you exit your session and immediately bump into a housemate or family member, you may encounter distractions which can interrupt your reflective process.  Some family members are quietly supportive and respectful of your needs, whilst others can be a bit more inquisitive. A barrage of “how was therapy” questions may feel overwhelming, and can really interrupt your reflective process. 

It is a skill to manage time when working from home, and it’s an easy trap to fall into over-committing to various appointments.  Remember your therapy hour best includes a window of reflective time afterwards.  Try not to be caught with back-to-back online meetings!

  1. Business First

In respect for the after-therapy window, we request that you handle payment and conversations around booking your next session BEFORE your therapy session so that you are able to honour your time to reflect afterwards.

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