Is it difficult getting to your appointments? Many clients live too far away or are unable to drive to town for appointments. Some are ill and immobile. Others are just not ready to venture out of the house. For whatever reason, online therapy and counselling sessions are becoming more and more popular.
Here’s some of the benefits of an online therapy or counselling meeting:
- Convenient – you don’t have to arrange for transportation.
- Private – you don’t have to make an appointment in a public office.
- Simple – you don’t have to involve other people for rides.
- Time savings – you don’t waste time in transit.
- Comfortable – you can use your favourite chair, blankets, pillow, coffee mug, lighting etc.
- Recordable – you can save a digital copy for future use.
Of course there are pros and cons to this form of therapy. Here are some of the negatives I’ve noticed with online meetings:
- Internet connections are not always reliable, resulting in occasional disconnections.
- Sound systems may not be strong enough. If your microphone or speakers are not strong enough, we may not be able to hear you and you may not be able to hear us well.
- Distractions. Your home may be prone to unexpected distractions such as pets, visitors, children, phone calls, alarms etc. We try to minimize these distractions in a professional office.
- Clarity. Some people find it more difficult to see and hear one another through digital media. Live, in person meetings are often more clear.
- Your home meeting site may carry negative memories which can affect your comfort level. Sometimes, it’s better to get away from your comfort zone in order to experience a new perspective.
So online therapy and counselling sessions are not for everyone. However, depending on your circumstances, they may be just right for you. If you are interested in this form of meeting, here are a few tips to make the session as effective as possible.
- Reduce all distractions – manage pets, children, visitors, phones, alarms, etc.
- Install high speed internet connections. Test your connections prior to the meeting.
- Check all sound systems before the meeting.
- Reduce back lighting to prevent over exposure. Don’t sit in front of a bright window.
- Add adequate front lighting so I can see your facial expressions well.
- Position the camera so I can see your face and hand gestures.
- Use a comfortable chair with appropriate back support. Use pillows if necessary.
- Have a blanket for extra warmth if necessary.
- Turn off stereos, radios, TV’s, alarms and other distractions during the meeting.
- Put your phone on vibrate or silent mode during the meeting.
- Set the room temperature to be comfortably warm
- Be hydrated.
- Practice with Skype or Zoom. Zoom seems to be most popular today. Test your Zoom apps before the meeting. You are welcome to call my office to test your hardware and software with my Assistant before the meeting.
Technology is constantly changing. Internet bandwidth and speed is improving. You may be a great candidate for online therapy and counselling. You are welcome to call our office to discuss these possibilities.