Categories
Online Sessions Psychotherapy

How to prepare for an online session

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online therapy is, “effective, acceptable and practical health care.” This case is best made when both the therapist and client are well-prepared for the session. 

In recent years, with the rise of more advanced communication tech, and certainly with the influence of the global pandemic, online therapy has become entirely mainstream. Still, you might ask yourself – does it work? The answer is – yes, providing we are well prepared in advance. 

This might surprise you, but much of the time online therapy is the preferred way that therapists and clients work together. I personally have observed the way online therapy has evolved over the years and have seen it support many positive therapy outcomes. 

In my experience, the sessions give the best results when proper preparation has been made in advance.  This article will help you prepare for a session with me. 

How to prepare for an online session

The most basic tools you need for a successful online therapy session are:

  • A stable internet connection
  • A room with enough light that we can properly see each other. Make sure that most of the light is in front of you, and not behind, so I don’t wind up seeing your silhouette. 
  • A device with a webcam and microphone (i.e. a laptop, tablet or smartphone – if you do not have this, we can discuss telephone therapy or an in-person alternative)

With the basics mastered, it might be helpful to prepare the smaller details to keep the session running smoothly and without interruptions. Here are some ideas:

  • I recommend you choose a private, quiet space away from other people. I believe that for therapy to be effective, it helps to feel comfortable talking about personal and confidential matters. Therefore, I recommend you pick a spot that allows for this to happen. 
  • If you have a pet, please make sure they are being taken care of by someone else. The same can be said for any other noise-distraction you anticipate may interrupt a session. 
  • So that we don’t delay the start of the session, please be sure all of your equipment is working beforehand.
  • Please minimise technological interruptions. For example, if you receive notifications to your device, please try to silence them so that they do not pop up on the screen mid-session. 
  • If you are using your phone rather than a laptop or tablet, I recommend you put it into a mode whereby you won’t receive any calls. 
  • I believe that for online therapy to be effective you should try to present yourself as you would at an in-person session. This means being dressed and ready. 
  • If you’d find it helpful, have a notepad and pen with you. You may benefit from taking notes during the session. Or you may wish to make notes before and after we have spoken. Please feel free to send me these notes if you wish to share them – especially if you have signed up to a subscription for therapy which includes 24/7 access to therapy including messaging and file sharing. 
  • If you want, have tissues to hand and a glass of water.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair where you can see and hear without straining your muscles or eyesight. Let’s both get comfortable so that we can talk openly.
  • Place your device at eye height, so we both have the impression that we’re looking directly at each other. 
  • Also, prop up your device on a stand, tripod or with some books. Hand holding a device whilst having therapy is not recommended. 

As well as the list above, you might benefit from emotional and mental preparation ahead of our session. While there is no obligation to do these, it will certainly help you to get more out of online therapy with me. 

    • Use the free 15 minute conversation to clarify any questions you might have about online therapy or how we work together.
    • Consider (if possible) blocking out a small window of time before and after the session. This will help you to be mentally ready for the session to begin, and help you to reflect on the session when it is over. It is often the case that these reflective moments can enhance the therapy experience and improve our therapeutic relationship. 
    • It can help to remind yourself that online therapy is very similar to in-person therapy. Prepare to treat it as if we are in the same room together. If there is anything about the online therapy that worries or concerns you, tell me! I am available to help facilitate the best possible online therapy experience.
Getting the support you need

I offer you acute couples counselling, couples therapy and individual psychotherapy based on your preferences, either online, at your place, or at my clinics in Østerbro or Svendborg.

We can also go for a walk.

My pledge

Whichever help and support you need, my pledge to you is consistent.

Next step

Book a free 15 minute conversation, which is all you need to begin your journey. We will talk about where you are now, where you want to be, and how I can help you get there.

Categories
Online Sessions

Should I take sessions online?

A study by the World Journal of Psychiatry found that people receiving online therapy reported “high levels of satisfaction.” Let’s find out if online therapy is for you.

There is a rising interest in the use of online therapies – something that I care passionately about exploring. Thanks to technological advances (and the global pandemic incentivising going digital), online therapy has now entered the mainstream.

But does that mean you should go online for therapy even if you have the option to meet in person? Which method is preferable and which one is more likely to be more successful? I’m here to help you understand some of the pros and cons of online therapy so that you can make the decision that feels right to you. 

The advantages and considerations of online therapy

Online therapy is almost identical to in-person “offline” therapy, with one crucial difference. Instead of us both sitting in a room together, we are connected on a video conferencing system from separate locations. As a result, all the same therapy processes that occur in person will apply to online therapy. You get all the support you need, in one place. You talk about what’s happening in your life while looking at me on the screen, and I will use the same therapeutic techniques as in “offline” therapy to help you feel better and gain a better understanding of yourself.

In my view, online therapy offers these significant advantages;

  1. Safety and familiarity. Much can be about feeling safe in familiar surroundings. With online therapy, you get to choose your therapeutic space, on your terms. I have often held sessions where my client has sat comfortably in his car. 
  2. No commute needed. When you feel you need support, simply book a session with me, or reach out on chat, if you already are a subscriber. No commute needed.
  3. Mixing up the time zones. If you wish to receive online therapy away from peak hours, let’s say you reside in eastern US, or in Asia, you can choose me in the CET time zone, and pick hours within my availability.

All of the above still give you great value with an experienced therapist to support you when you need it the most, and with flexible options.

There are, of course, a few considerations that must occur when taking therapy online. Each of these are addressed below:

  1. Privacy and confidentiality: Your rights to confidentiality do not change when we take therapy online. However, what might change are circumstantial situations that could breach confidentiality. For example, if you are not sitting in a private room far away from other people, they may overhear your therapy session. It is therefore crucial that you set up your environment so that you are alone, or in a room that cannot be accessed by others.
  2. Internet connection: When we speak in-person, we needn’t rely on anything else to assist in our communication. When we talk online, we rely on a strong internet and a stable communication platform like Zoom. If your internet is unstable, it’ll interrupt the flow of the session, which can have a negative effect on the flow of our conversation. It is important that you get the most out of our time together. Ensuring the fundamentals is a great way to get started.
  3. Interruptions: During an in-person setting, the therapeutic environment is unlikely to encounter interruptions because I will have set up beforehand so that it is quiet and undisturbed. When we are online, only you have control over what happens at your end. You might have parcels delivered, a dog barking or a family member coming home half way through the session. It is advisable to set up your home so that these interruptions are minimised. If there is an interruption, make this known to me and we can find a way to work with it.
  4. Boundaries: When you attend a therapy session online, imagine yourself physically leaving your home and talking about your issues in a neutral, impartial setting. After the session, you then go back to your familiar surroundings, leaving the session in the digital therapy. You might prefer to compartmentalise in this way, as it creates a boundary between your session and your home life. If you came to my therapy room, I would make sure that our conversations were private and confidential. If we meet online, this would be your responsibility.

If you instead book an online therapy consultation and, with no more than 15 minutes in, you feel it’s not the right option for you, we can change to in-person sessions. I will reimburse you for the online session. 

My goal is to help you improve your quality of life and well-being and to regain your sense of purpose, and it’s entirely up to you how we go about doing that.

Getting the support you need

I offer you acute couples counselling, couples therapy and individual psychotherapy based on your preferences, either online, at your place, or at my clinics in Østerbro or Svendborg.

We can also go for a walk.

My pledge

Whichever help and support you need, my pledge to you is consistent.

Next step

Book a free 15 minute conversation, which is all you need to begin your journey. We will talk about where you are now, where you want to be, and how I can help you get there.