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Preparing For Your First Teletherapy Session

September 30, 2020

New to telehealth? A virtual meeting with a psychologist is slightly different than an in-person session. For one, you get to connect with your therapist from wherever you are and wherever you feel most comfortable, but it means you need to take a couple of extra steps to ensure your privacy. Here are a few ideas to think about as you prepare for your first telehealth session.

Use headphones.

One thing to keep in mind about telehealth is that, since you are doing it from wherever you are, you need to take some precautions to maintain your privacy. This may be particularly important for those that live with others and wish to keep your conversations with your therapist between the two of you. If privacy is an issue, you may opt to utilize headphones during your telehealth session. This way your conversations stay private and confidential.

Choose a private place with minimal distractions.

Your therapy session should be your time to focus on yourself. To really engage, you want to make sure you have a quiet space without interruptions or distractions. Try to schedule your session at a time when you are by yourself and can really attend to your therapy. Make sure your space is your own so that you feel free to talk about anything and everything that are on your mind.

Get comfortable.

Settle in wherever it is time to have your session. Knowing your space and having your own belongings near you is a benefit of telehealth. Get a blanket. Make sure you are in a comfortable seat. Use the restroom prior to your session so you’re not distracted. Make the most of your time with your therapist--the more comfortable you are the more at ease you’ll be during your session.

Set realistic expectations..

The initial session with your therapist will differ depending on your therapist’s therapeutic approach. Some initial evaluations start with an evaluation and many questions from the therapist to get to know you and your current treatment goals. Others may simply ask you to talk about your current issues and what you hope to get from therapy. Whatever the approach, it is important to realize that feeling better does not happen instantaneously. While many people often feel better after the first encounter (it feels good to know you have someone on your team and that you are taking astep to improve your quality of life), no one should enter into therapy with the expectation that they will notice a huge change after only one or two sessions. It can take a few sessions to get comfortable with your therapist and start opening up, and oftentimes, significant improvement happens over many weeks and months. Stay curious, committed, and open. Recognize the benefit of the journey and how investing in your own well-being deserves time..

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