Let's be honest, COVID-19 has dished out some changes that we could have never seen coming. Vacations, weddings graduations, baby showers, birthdays and any other celebratory gathering have been cancelled or re-planned with social distancing in mind. Going to the grocery, getting your hair, nails, or any other beauty service done has changed. Taking your kids to school or setting up virtual school, going to work or virtual work and going to church or virtual church all seem to feel different and at times unauthentic.
Tele-treatment has not been exempt in the realm of virtual connection. Many have been forced to engage in all types of tele-treatment, especially teletherapy. While therapy sessions were under the category of "Essential", many clinicians opted to move the majority or all of their sessions online for the safety of themselves and their clients. As COVID-19 continues to linger longer than many of us expected, there is a question that is becoming more common. That question is how DO I get the most out of my virtual therapy session? Check out the three suggestions below to help!
1) Set the Scene
If you are at home, try choosing an area that is comfortable for you. Typically at your appointments, you like the comfy couch and the bougie pillow in your therapist's office right? Treat your home the same! Your session is not the business Zoom. You are free to sit on your couch, in a chair, or even in your bed (just don't fall asleep). As you are working through your sessions, you want to feel safe and comfortable.
If you are in the car or in a more public place, try to have headphones and be isolated from people. The fresh air is a PLUS, but the potential distractions are not as great.
2) Keep the Lines of Communication OPEN
If you have concerns about your overall growth and development in therapy via tele-therapy, just say that! You therapist cares about your feelings, thoughts and concerns. If you feel that there is less of an authentic connection, if you feel that you are having a hard time remembering the skills you learned in session, or of you feel more hesitation to be open in therapy, say something to your therapist. While we are slightly better than most in interpreting some of your feelings through non-verbal communication, we also do not have the ability to always know how you feel or think. Your therapist will be willing to hear what you have to say and more than likely do their best to help create plans that will best meet your personal needs while address your therapeutic needs.
3) Do your best to come prepared
Prepare just like you would for an in person session. Do your best to have questions, your homework, and preferably your pants (LOL let's be honest, COVID has reduced the need to have on pants). Don't let a screen stop your growth. Your therapist wants you to be and feel engaged and more importantly they want you to get the most out of your session. Unless you typically bring your kiddos and animal-kiddos to your session, do your best to be separate from them so that you do not get distracted.
Know that therapy is still therapy whether you are in person or on a screen. The fact that you are taking time to care for YOU and investing in YOU is amazing. Don't let the green behind a screen stop you from becoming a MINDSET MOGUL.