Approximately 40.2 million adults seek out therapy and mental health counseling every year. And as the world continues to consistently evolve, uncertain times lead to a higher amount of people feeling depressed and ultimately suffering from mental health issues. Common stressors like the job and financial security or social isolation are normal during this time, but can be very overwhelming. Getting your anxiety checked out and speaking with someone about your worries can be beneficial to your overall well-being.
Online therapy and telehealth services are great options if you’re searching for mental health resources. This allows you to connect with your therapist in the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule. This is perfect for someone who is looking for an efficient and convenient support system. Whether you’re thinking about utilizing telehealth or already have been, there are several options for the best online therapy. Here are six tips to make the best out of your telehealth services.
1. Set up a safe space and reserve time out of your day.
One of the best parts of online therapy is that you get to do it right from bed or wherever you’re most comfortable. Create a special space where you can relax and feel grounded, adding personal touches so you’re open and vulnerable. Place elements of relaxation in your space such as calming lights, a picture of your pet, a candle burning, or your favorite plant. Prepare for any possible interruptions and prep your space with water, tissues, and a blanket or fan. Someone walking into your therapy session or being in a loud atmosphere can be very distracting, so find a quiet spot where your focus is on your session.
2. Be open-minded and let your therapist get to know you.
Online therapy is going to be a different experience from an in-person appointment, so be patient and don’t worry if things seem a little awkward at first. Try to relax as your therapist asks you questions to get to know you. Respond with what you’re comfortable with and what feels natural, but try to allow yourself to be vulnerable. The point of therapy is to talk about the hard things, so keep an open line of communication with your therapist and remember that it’s okay to feel raw emotions.
If you’re just starting an online therapy service after being accustomed to in-person appointments, take the time to get used to the change. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but let your therapist know of your frustrations so they can better help you.
3. Be flexible with different forms of telehealth.
Although online therapy is usually done over a video call, there are some other forms of telehealth services that may fit your lifestyle even better. Some therapists may offer resources like text or call during certain hours, adding even more efficiency and convenience to your schedule. Take advantage of all resources and find what works best for you.
4. Enjoy the different perspective online therapy presents.
Since your appointment is over the video while you’re in your own home, take advantage of being able to show your therapist different aspects of your life. Introduce your pet or show off your artwork, let your therapist get to know you a bit better through your personal items.
5. Be direct with your therapist and name your emotions.
Therapists are taught to read your body language for a better understanding of your mental state. However, observing your body cues and facial expressions may be a bit more difficult over the video, so be direct with your therapist and openly name your emotions. Being honest and direct about what you’re feeling will help your therapist to better help you.
Express genuine feedback to your therapist about your online therapy.
You may be trying online therapy for the first time and your therapist may be new to it as well. Try to be patient if there are a few hiccups along the way, and discuss what’s working and what’s not with your counselor. It may take some time to get used to, but meeting your therapist halfway and expressing your concerns will benefit your mental health journey.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Online therapy can be effective at treating several mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. If you’re interested in pursuing online therapy, look for the best online counseling services to get started. Choosing to prioritize your mental health is essential and online therapy is a great option to get started.