We hope you are staying healthy and connected during this uneasy time. Given the shelter-in-place statewide order issued by Governor Kemp, we are now offering online therapeutic services via video to both couples and individuals. In this post, we want to provide some basic information on this in order to help you understand the efficacy and process of online therapy, and to equip you to get the most out of your online session.
Online therapeutic services have become more prevalent during the last decade. So much that many therapists provide counseling and therapeutic sessions solely online. People living in areas with limited access to mental health services often utilize online therapy to avoid driving hundreds of miles to a therapist’s office. Individuals with demanding jobs which require many hours, low flexibility, and much travel often utilize online therapeutic services. Disabled and elderly individuals also often use online therapeutic services and are thus able to address their mental health needs. Studies have shown that online therapy is effective in alleviating negative symptoms and impacting positive change in those individuals that consistently participate in such counseling. A recent study published in the peer-reviewed scientific magazine, JAMA Psychiatry concluded that 30 minutes of online therapeutic sessions were effective in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation amongst a group of 200 first year medical residents suffering from depression and suicidal ideation due to their long hours and stressful. (See link for full article jobs.https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2478199?resultClick=1.)
Research demonstrates that online therapeutic services are beneficial and many people have gained access to mental health services due to this great option. However, we understand that some people feel that online therapy could feel less personal and/or may feel intimidated by having to use the technology. Therefore, we want to assure you of our commitment to utilize best practices when providing online therapy, and to provide some guidelines on how you can get the most out of your online therapeutic session.
- Your confidentiality will be ensured on our end.
- We have specific training on conducting online therapy and know how to do so professionally and ethically.
- We will always provide you with quality and compassionate care, whether you come into the office or have your session online.
Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your online session:
- Select the device you will be using ahead of time and enable the camera and microphone on your device.
- Check your internet connection to ensure you are able to easily connect to the internet.
- Select the room in your home (or space in you office) that you will be utilizing for the session. Ensure that it is quiet and free from interruption and distraction. It may be helpful to place a Do Not Disturb sign on your door to indicate to your family members and/or co-workers to avoid knocking or coming into the room during the session.
- If you have young children, make sure they are safe, yet entertained, during the session time. Perhaps save that movie they’ve been wanting to watch, to be watched during your session.
- Prepare for the session the same way you would prepare to go to your therapist’s office. This means take time to eat a light snack, drink plenty of water and take care of your physical appearance. This will help boost your energy and confidence so that you may get the most out of your time. Therapy is hard work!
- Avoid using your telephone or walking around the room during your online session. Know that this time is for you (and/or for your partner) to process through difficulties and pains, and respect the time you set aside so that you may fully engage in the session.
- Take a moment to process your online experience with your therapist (your therapist will ask about this to ensure your emotional comfort). Verbalize any concern or discomfort you feel – this could provide some great insight into other areas of your life where similar feelings come up.
How it works:
- Your therapist will send you an email or a text with a link.
- A few minutes before your appointment time, click on the link, enter your name and click “join meeting.” Your therapy session will immediately begin!
We deeply care about our patients and will always be advocates of growth and healing for you and your relationships. We encourage you to continue with the progress you have already made by participating in online therapeutic sessions. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns that you wish to discuss.
We hope that you and your loved ones get through this uneasy time with peace and connection. We are honored to support you. Stay safe, healthy, and invested in your personal and relational growth!