Virtual Therapy Tips
Making the most out of your time with Changes Counselling and Psychotherapy
Are you hesitant about attending therapy online or by phone?
Tried virtual therapy before but found it distracting or lacking connection?
See below for information on best practices to prepare for your virtual therapy experience.
In your first sessions, ask your therapist as many questions as you answer.
Think of your first session as a two-way interview where you can get a much clearer sense of whether you’ll work well together. Don’t be shy about letting your therapist know if you don’t think they’re a good match.
Understand the nature of the therapeutic relationship.
The therapeutic relationship is unique. You’ll get alienated from your therapist if you expect your relationship with them to be like your relationships with friends and family. To do their jobs well, therapists need to limit how much they share about themselves and focus more on listening to you.
Get technical issues out of the way before your session starts.
Check to see if you need to update your operating system or the Jane app if your system is running slow. Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection that supports high-quality streaming video. Let your therapist know if there seems to be any connection issues on their end. And remember to have your charger on hand!
If any background distractions at home are interfering with therapy, address them.
If family or pets are interrupting your sessions in a way that’s more disruptive than cute, close a door. Find childcare when sessions are scheduled, if possible. Put your phone on silent and tell family members or housemates not to interrupt you during this important time.
Optional items to enhance your therapy:
Pen and paper
A candle (real or electronic)
A cup of tea
Make time for silence and processing before and after your session.
Meditate, pray, sit silent, write, listen to music, play music, go for a walk, draw, etc.
Benefits of Virtual Therapy
Access therapy from anywhere (work, home, vehicle, etc.)
Flexibility and ease of scheduling
Feeling more comfortable in a familiar setting, enhancing vulnerability and disclosure
No commuting to and from your therapy appointment
Individuals in rural areas, with chronic illness, or those with transportation or mobility concerns may be able to access services that were previously unavailable
Eliminates any fear or concern for potentially running into a familiar face in the waiting room of a therapy office
Possible Drawbacks of Virtual Therapy
Not suitable for individuals in crisis and experiencing intense thoughts of suicide with urges to act on them, as it can be difficult for therapist to intervene appropriately
Some individuals may truly feel a lack of connection with a therapist and find they are more effective working in-person
Difficulty in attending if you don’t have access to a safe, secure, and confidential space to meet with your therapist virtually for sessions
Technological issues can occur and calls may be dropped, video could be frozen temporarily or difficulties logging into online videoconferencing platform