Making the decision to see a therapist is a brave move for anyone. It can be a bit daunting and unnerving when you don’t have any idea what therapy implies and your imagination plays wild scenarios in your head. Luckily, these days technology makes things easier for us and we now have the possibility to participate in therapy sessions entirely online. Still, since it’s a fairly new approach, most people have lots of questions about how online psychotherapy works. So, let’s talk about what one should expect from working with a psychotherapist online.
Choosing a therapist
First of all, you don’t have to worry about finding an online therapist. There are many psychotherapists who conduct sessions exclusively online, so you’ve got a great chance at finding a professional that will suit your needs. In most cases, you’ll have a short conversation over the phone that will help you decide if a certain therapist is the right fit for you.
Once you’ve found the therapist you want to work with, the next steps are quite simple. You’ll begin by discussing with your provider about your schedule. You’ll decide on a date and time when it’s most convenient for both of you to hold the therapy session. You’ll obviously connect with your therapist through an app. While therapists conduct sessions via text messages, emails or audio calls as well, the most common form of online therapy is through video-call apps because they allow for better interaction. Some of the most used video-call apps for online psychotherapy are Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, or Skype, but there are many other options you can choose from.
From here, you’ll discuss with your therapist just like you would do if you were in a face-to-face session. And just like in face-to-face therapy, you won’t see any major changes or improvements over night. It takes time and patience to notice results and you’ll have to be consistent with your sessions if you want to make the most of it. It might take a bit longer to feel a connection with your therapist, since you’re interacting through a screen, and you might also be more tempted to give up when going through a rough patch, but know that these feelings are normal and if you’re willing to push through, it’ll be worth it.
While for some people the idea of starting online therapy might not be that tempting and they’d rather take the classic route of face-to-face therapy, there are definitely benefits to it. For starters, attending online therapy is much more convenient. You don’t have to travel to your therapist’s office and you can enjoy the calm and safety of your home during the sessions. That will make you feel more at ease and reduce some of the stress and anxiety you might experience. You should also consider that online therapy allows for more flexibility as you can adjust the sessions to your schedule, not to mention you have access to professional services that might not be available in your area.