How To Prepare For Online Therapy

Online counseling can be just as effective as in-person sessions. Knowing how to prepare for online therapy will facilitate the comfort and success of your virtual sessions.

As an anxiety therapist in Rockland County, NY, I am able to provide online counseling services to residents in New York State.  Starting anxiety counseling via online is fairly simple once you know how it works. Below are a few guidelines.

4 Tips on How to Prepare for Online Therapy

1. Find A Comfortable And Private Space

Privacy is a very important part of the counseling process. Individual psychotherapy involves just you and your counselor. This one-on-one interaction helps to create a safe environment in which you can share openly and honestly and receive needed supports.  

If you were going into the therapy office, the door would be closed. Appropriate precautions would be taken to ensure that no one is able to listen to your conversation. Keeping this same expectation in mind when you are setting up for a counseling session can be helpful. 

Consider a location where you tend to feel comfortable, that offers privacy, and has minimal opportunity for interruptions. If you live with others, inform your housemates or family members that you will need some uninterrupted time to yourself. This can often help to minimize distraction and assure the privacy and confidentiality of your sessions. 

Once you have chosen a spot, be prepared to share your location at the start of each session.  It is important for your counselor to know where you are as it is best practice in providing virtual sessions. In addition, your location matters in order for us to comply with regulatory laws surrounding telehealth. Whether you are at home, a parked car, or at the office, you must be physically located in New York State.

2. Technology 

You will need a computer or cell phone to connect to the secure video platform used for online sessions. A strong internet connection is required whether it is through wi-fi or data signal. It can be helpful to close programs or apps that may be taking up internet energy to increase connectivity.

If you are in a location where wi-fi is unavailable, the connection is still possible through the use of your phone’s data plan. Check with your cell phone carrier to make sure that you have enough data minutes available to you.

Check that audio and video are both functioning on your computer or cell phone prior to each session. In most cases, your device will ask you “to allow” access to your camera and microphone. Some clients find that the use of headphones helps to minimize noise distractions in the environment. In addition, the lighting in your environment can affect the clarity of the video. Seek a location that provides enough lighting to enhance the visual aspect.  

Another helpful tip is to remember to charge your devices. It can be daunting to be in the middle of an important story and then your connection cuts off. 

3. Communicate

Online therapy is a convenient way to receive therapeutic resources. If you are struggling to find a way to adjust to online counseling, share this in therapy. Online counseling may not be for everyone and it is important for you to receive the best treatment possible. Communicate any challenges or issues to see if they can be remedied. Often times, this is enough to fix any concerns and make online counseling more enjoyable. 

4. Stay Present

Remember to treat online therapy the same as an in-person counseling session. Dress and behave just as you would if you were going to meet in an office. This means avoiding the impulse to engage in other activities and multi-task during an appointment. This is often surprising if you are new to telehealth or online therapy. It is often tempting to attend to things in your home environment. This is especially true if you have children or pets that usually require your presence. Keep in mind that therapy is most successful when you are actively participating. You are important and deserve for therapy time to be just for you. 

A helpful tip is to set aside a few minutes before and after an online session to gather your thoughts and emotions. This can help you transition between therapy and other activities during the day. 

Ready to schedule an appointment after learning how to prepare for online therapy in New York?

The Counseling Perch Mental Health Counseling, P.C. provides online therapy to adults in New City, NY, Rockland County, Westchester County, and all over New York State. Schedule an appointment by:

  1. Calling 845-305-5322
  2. Scheduling online but using the online scheduler

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