Online therapy has been around for many years. I’ve always used it to see a few clients who have found it difficult to meet face-to-face for various reasons, but I have had my reservations. The current situation has thrown me into taking my practice fully online in a matter of weeks and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results. I’ve improved my relationship with technology and going forward I will continue to routinely offer sessions online.
What are the Benefits of Online Therapy?
Research has consistently shown online treatment can be very effective for many mental health issues. For example, a 2014 study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that online cognitive behavioural therapy was effective in treating anxiety disorders.
Many people find online communication very comfortable, especially younger adults or those who use technology often. As more people are using email, webinars and text messaging to communicate, it can seem easier than talking to someone in person, especially when revealing personal or private information.
Online therapy is also more accessible for some people. In many rural communities, the nearest therapist may be an hour or two drive away. Some people with chronic illnesses or disabilities may not be able to drive or easily able to leave their home. In these situations, online therapy may be their only option for help.
Here are a few other benefits…
– For many of us, being in our own homes feels comfortable and safe.
– Online therapy provides a great deal of flexibility and makes it easier to prioritise your mental health alongside other responsibilities and commitments.
– It’s less time consuming and removes the need to travel to and from your appointments.
What to Expect and How to Get the Most Out of Your Session
I use Zoom to deliver online therapy. As well as being safe and secure, it’s very easy to use. This guide to getting started walks you through the whole process. Payment is taken just before the session via BACS transfer or PayPal.
Ahead of your appointment, find a nice, quiet therapeutic space in your home where it’s ok to feel emotional and talk about the tough stuff. Think carefully before opting for your bedroom. Could its association with therapy later disturb your sleep?
Switch off notifications on the device you are using to avoid any distractions. Make sure it’s fully charged and where possible ask other people in your home to avoid using the internet. Certain things like downloading movies could slow down your Wi-Fi.
I encourage people to use video as I feel it improves connection, but if you really don’t want it on just let me know beforehand. Even when I can see you on the screen, it’s possible I’ll miss some body language cues as my view is more limited than when we meet in person. Try to be as explicit as possible. Therapists don’ t mind being corrected, so if you feel I’ve misheard you or not understood, tell me. Shared, collaborative communication is vital for successful therapy.
Keep your session confidential. Make sure you’re not disturbed and let other people in your home know you will be unavailable for at least an hour. Plan something nice to do afterwards. Some people find it helpful to follow each session with some journaling time. Read my post about using a therapy journal for more information.
Get in Touch
To book an appointment please complete my contact form detailing the days and times you would like your session. I work 2pm – 6 pm on a Tuesday and 9am – 6pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I look forward to hearing from you.