Wednesday, March 29, 2023

How to get the most out of a virtual therapy session

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In addition to checking your internet, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the tool your therapist uses before that first date, which should also be HIPAA compliant, advises Ejelonu. Sort out technical issues early, like confirming an account, creating a password, verifying that your camera is working, and fully charging your computer or phone.

Make a list

“Have something you’d like to start talking about, or at least a place to start,” says Tiarra Morris, registered clinical mental health counselor and registered clinical addiction specialist in North Carolina. My sessions with Morris, who I connected with through the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, begin before the pandemic, in person. A month after Covid, we decided to switch to virtual sessions, which was smoother than expected. Telehealth was already a service Morris provided before the pandemic pushed many of us into virtual therapy, so she knows how to make it work. Since the pandemic, Morris has received a constant flow of referrals and taken on new fully virtual clients.

Making a list can seem like a daunting task during a pandemic. But it doesn’t have to be a full or detailed list. In fact, it could be as simple as the stressors that accompany life during a crisis. Ejelonu doesn’t prepare much for a therapy session, she says, unless there’s a conversation she knows she wants to think about. “Then I’ll write it down to make sure I don’t forget to mention it.”

I also find myself jotting down, usually on a post-it note that I stick to my wall or my desk, a few things I want to discuss with my therapist that might come up between sessions – a life-changing situation at work, for example. The note helps refresh my memory, especially since stress and anxiety can cause memory loss. I make the list for myself and share the topics that I would like to discuss once the session begins.

Be present and comfortable

One of the advantages of telehealth is that you can be anywhere and communicate with your advisor. But Morris cautions against attempting to have a counseling session while driving, multitasking, or performing any number of activities that will distract you from your session. To help clients introduce themselves, Morris recommends “a safe and familiar environment. For example, if you have a favorite seating position inside your home that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, try it for your virtual therapy session. “

As a customer, you’ll also want to make sure your space is free from distractions. Finding a distraction-free place at a time when many Americans work from home (and many students go to distance school) can be difficult. Davis encourages “people to put their devices on Do Not Disturb because receiving a text message or receiving a phone call can serve as a therapeutic distraction.”

If virtual therapy is not accessible to you, there are other resources that may be right for you.

Instagram accounts give a boost

Once I broke my habit of scrolling convicts through social media, I began to discover a whole new world of uplifting emotional well-being content, mostly free. This comes in handy when I want to listen to sound therapy, practice some yoga moves, or learn deep breathing techniques. The emotional and mental wellness pages on social media not only offer tips and advice that can help you focus, but they also allow you to practice in a virtual community, if you want to. Maybe virtual therapy is not financially accessible or desirable right now, but you are looking for other forms of support. Here are a few sites that can help you prioritize your mental and emotional health and well-being.

A “wellness and coffee concept” offering monthly subscriptions for virtual yoga, energy work, meditation, breathing work and other healing modalities. While Heal Haus offers one-on-one sessions, it also offers a virtual workplace wellness program to help organizations focus in the workplace. Once you’ve created an account, it’s easy to sign up for classes. IGTV videos are a great introduction to what you can expect from Heal Haus classes.

I am newly experiencing the transformative powers of rest. But since 2016, the nap ministry has let us know that the nap and rest are sacred and liberating. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep. Nap ministry calls us to incorporate deep rest into our lives and offers ideas for rest such as taking longer showers, dreaming, dancing slowly, taking a sound bath, or doing some yoga poses.


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