How to prepare for online sessions?
The first steps in traditional therapy are to come to the right address, sit in the waiting room, and wait for the therapist to call. Then, when they offer you coffee or water, perhaps you will be nervous about expectations. In contrast, online therapy has some specifics. This whole preparatory phase for consultation is eliminated, and other advantages and disadvantages are added. What to look out for and how to prepare for an online session? Read the following tips that can help you feel better with having an online therapy at home.
Quiet, comfortable place and privacy
Choose a place where you can sit and feel comfortable. Will a blanket or pillow help? Treat yourself to it. Make sure nothing disturbs you. Your family or roommate will understand that now is not a good moment to ask something from you. Figure out what to do with pets. If they do not disturb you, it is good to have them with you during therapy to calm down. Consider whether it would be better to use headphones. They can help with privacy. Others won’t hear that much of what we would be talking about. They can also improve audio quality and thus make us better understand each other when making a video call.
For therapy, it is better to use a computer with a webcam, laptop or tablet. Using the phone is not so convenient and not quite recommended. If it is unavoidable, try to set it so that it is secured, does not fall and gives you the best possible view. The webcam should ideally be at eye level and show the upper body. Check if both the camera and microphone are working and test them before you call. Also check your internet connection. Keep your battery and charger at hand so you don’t get distracted while in session. Headphones will help you understand better. I recommend that you open a new browser window for a therapeutic video call and close social networks that could disturb you with notifications or incoming messages during the call.
Time for yourself
During an online session, there is no preparatory phase when you are going and transporting yourself to the therapist’s office. At that point, thoughts about your topic are already running through your head. Therefore, try to set aside time for yourself before the session. You can then think better about what you want to discuss in the upcoming minutes. Sure, sometimes it happens that you will not manage, but it should not be the norm. Time for yourself to sort out new knowledge is nice, both after the session and during the week, when you will be working on a therapeutic task. And in general, make time for yourself regularly. Exhale, inhale.
Be nice to yourself, take care of yourself. Although it can be challenging at times, the first step of therapy is in fact learning responsibility for yourself. Prepare your favorite drink for a snack. Do you prefer tea or coffee? Warm fluids help against anxiety and can be a pleasant companion to a challenging topic. However, food is a distraction and is not recommended. Will it be challenging? It is good to have handkerchiefs with you. Make sure no one disturbs you. This space is just for you.
And how are you preparing for the online session? Do you have a special way or do you proceed as with any other online call? What can you do for yourself to make it even better?