Telehealth and teletherapy increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many found that it was just as effective as in-person therapy. Parents have been able to see their therapist without having to obtain a babysitter. Those in rural areas have more options as to the therapists they work with. Those with busy schedules haven’t had to take extra time from their day to travel to and from their therapist’s office.
However, there are some limitations with teletherapy that should be considered. If you’re unable to find a secure and confidential area in your home or workplace, you wont feel comfortable and honest during your session. If you try teletherapy and your condition is significantly decreasing, you should consider switching to in-person sessions.
Teletherapy can be as effective as in person therapy, but you have to commit to making it so. Chicago Psychologist,
Dr. Susan Bush shares some of her favorite tips to make the most of your teletherapy appointment.
1. Find a safe and comfortable space, free of distractions. Using headphones with noise cancellation can help keep you in the moment.
2. Sit in the same spot each time you meet with your therapist. You’ll want to be comfortable. Sitting at the desk you’ve just been working at, might not be an ideal spot.
3. Don’t allow others to be in the room, you want absolute confidentiality.
4. Put your phone away and turn off all notifications. Pretend that you are in the therapist’s office and take away any additional distractions.
5. Test your audio and video equipment before the session. Have a plan B if your audio doesn’t work, be prepared to go without headphones.
6. Keep your video equipment stable, not on your lap or walking around. It can cause distractions and can make your therapist dizzy.
7. Consider your schedule when picking a time to meet. Seeing your therapist in between stressful meetings at work can interfere with your ability to focus in your session and do the work that is needed.
8. Think about what issues or topics you want to bring to the session that day. Both in-person and virtual therapy works best when you are active and reflecting on changes you wish to make outside of your session.
9. Utilize your session in creative ways. Is there a task or project you’ve been neglecting at home? Your therapist can help you manage your anxiety and tackle the project in the session.
10. Don’t be afraid to talk to your therapist about your teletherapy experience. If something isn’t working for you, they wont know unless you bring it up. If you’re feeling awkward, this is something you can work through with your therapist.