How to Make the Most Out of Online Therapy?


Apr 29Mental health

How to Make the Most Out of Online Therapy?

Before the pandemic hit, everybody strongly believed that in-person therapy was the most effective. But with the growing mental stress in the current tough times, there has been a dire need for online therapy. People have now adapted to online therapy to reap its benefits.

You’ll be surprised to know the many advantages of online therapy:

  1. You save up on travelling time as you don’t need to travel to your therapist’s office. So you can take your therapy session from wherever you are.
  2. You can connect to a therapist from anywhere in the world. Hence, you will not give yourself excuses for not taking therapy.
  3. Therapy and healing are incredibly personal processes and doing it in a comfortable place at home will protect your privacy. You don’t need to tell people that you are going for a therapy session.
  4. You feel less vulnerable during online therapy. When going to a therapist’s office, you may feel uncomfortable as you are in someone else’s space. The pressure of the therapist judging you or the stigma eliminates with online sessions. You are in better control of yourself and the things that you wish to share.
  5. You can do it from the comfort of your home. In case the session gets too intense, you will still be in a comfortable and familiar space.
  6. It makes communication easy as you can share information in different ways such as articles, videos, blogs, etc.

How do you know you need to take therapy?

Taking therapy is a way of being mentally fit. Often in this fast-paced world, we do not set aside time for ourselves. It creates a distance between us and our inner selves. The stress slowly piles up, and one day, we break down. In order to avoid such a situation, it is crucial to evaluate our mental space from time to time.

You may need to take therapy if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Often irritable and angry
  • Having frequent outbursts
  • Always exhausted
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Not able to eat properly
  • Pushing through days
  • Not interested in the happenings around you
  • Not able to get involved
  • Not feeling hopeful about things

Therapy provides a neutral space where you get to talk about yourself without worrying about anything. That space allows you to reflect on yourself and your life. The therapist can guide you in the right direction to manage your problems.

online therapy

How can you make the most out of online therapy?

Many things are different with online therapy. Following the below-mentioned points can help you fully utilise your online therapy sessions.

Find the right therapist

For therapy to work, finding the right therapist is crucial. With online therapy, the location gets eliminated. You can go to a therapist from any part of the world. Consider the following factors for choosing your therapist online:

Affordability: Each therapist charges individual rates, so find the one you can afford. At any point, you must not feel that you wasted your money.

Qualification of the therapist: Always find out the qualifications of the therapist and their approach towards therapy. A preliminary conversation will help you understand if you are comfortable talking to the therapist. If you feel pressured during the interactions, the therapist may not be the one for you.

Experience of the therapist: If you want to discuss a particular issue, make sure that your therapist has enough training, knowledge and experience with regards to that.

Find the right space

In therapy, space plays an important role. You will be talking about many personal details that you may not wish to share with other people. Hence, to have a fruitful therapy session, make sure you are in a quiet, comfortable and safe space where no one can disturb you. If you cannot find an empty corner at home, then go for a stroll in the park or take the session from your car. It’s totally up to you to choose a space that feels safe for you.

Take care of technicalities

Make sure you have these three things in place for having a good therapy session.

An electronic device: You can either use your laptop or your phone for the video/ audio call. Nowadays, even phones come with a decent front camera. Ensure that your devices are charged well enough to last for the entire conversation.

Internet connection: A strong internet connection is crucial for an uninterrupted therapy session. Communication can be frustrating if the internet keeps lagging.

Earphones: Using earphones not only improves the quality of the call but also helps in keeping the discussions confidential.

Give yourself 15 minutes before the session

It is not advisable to sit for your therapy session without any preparations. Before your session, make sure to give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to get ready. It will help you be more serious about it rather than treating it as just another phone call.

  • Get dressed for the session.
  • Keep your stationery ready - notes, pens, pencils, etc.
  • Set up your space before the session.
  • Think about all that you want to discuss with your therapist.

Avoid distractions during the session

Your therapy session should be uninterrupted. You do not want to invite any unnecessary distractions which would break your train of thoughts. You must also be physically and mentally prepared for the session as different things can happen that may be difficult and uncomfortable.

  • Put all your work aside during the session.
  • Do not take any calls - work-related or personal.
  • If you are at home, inform everyone about the session to avoid interruptions.
  • Have your meals before the session. Do not eat or drink any beverages such as tea, coffee, etc. during the therapy session.

Schedule your rest of the day properly

Since you will be discussing various personal details during therapy sessions, it can sometimes get mentally tiring. Therefore, don’t schedule another meeting immediately after your therapy session. Give yourself time to process before and after the session.

Make notes and do your homework

Always dedicate a separate notebook for your therapy notes. During the week, keep writing your thoughts down to be well-prepared and know what to discuss with your therapist. Another benefit of making notes is that you can share them with your therapist in advance. It may help you communicate your thoughts better. The therapist may also give you a set of homework or helpful activities. Do those diligently for your growth and progress. Always set reminders and ensure that you are well prepared for the session.

Build a good relationship with your therapist

Compatibility with your therapist will prove successful therapy sessions. Taking care of little things does matter to build a good relationship with your therapist. Here is a simple guide for the same:

  • Regularly schedule your appointments with your therapist.
  • Show up for the session on time. If you are forgetful, set reminders.
  • Communicate your thoughts and needs with your therapist.
  • Be open to non-conventional ways of communication. As the sessions are online, the therapist may share articles, social media posts, videos, etc. But if something is not suiting you, always let the therapist know.
  • Don’t cancel at the last minute unless it’s an emergency.

FAQs on online therapy:

Is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

It is effective but varies from person to person. If you are not comfortable with the online therapy sessions, then you should discontinue them. It is important to figure out what works best for you.

Can I switch off my camera?

Online therapy is fairly flexible. If you do not wish to do a video call, you can request your therapist for an audio call. Always prioritise comfort to be able to communicate freely.

Can I text instead of talking?

A lot of services offer a chat or email option for therapy. Texting can work well for people who are anxious about talking. It is even beneficial for people who live in abusive households or do not have their own space. If someone is more comfortable texting, then pushing them to talk can become counter-productive. Hence, depending on your situation, you can make a choice.

Is online therapy secure and confidential?

Yes, the sessions are secure and confidential. Your information will not be disclosed to anyone.

Bottom line

We were forced into a situation where we had to reconsider online therapy. The change has been for the good as a lot more people are focusing on their mental health. The stigma associated with taking therapy is slowly resolving. We hope the tips in this article help you have successful online therapy sessions!

Disclaimer: This information is educational and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or adding supplements.

ProactiveForHer is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer out-patient care, diagnostic services and programs for various health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause.