Why Go Online?
Our world has changed rapidly in the past few weeks. The current situation and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has people staying home in order to flatten the curve and comply with social distancing recommendations. In times like these, it is especially important to stay connected with our support system and continue to engage with self care. Online therapy allows people to stay home while also ensuring they have access to their therapist during this difficult and potentially stressful time. Maintaining therapy progress is important and it’s even more important to maintain the therapeutic relationship you have with your therapist because, sometimes it’s tough finding a good fit with a therapist.
At Onyx, we have begun using Zoom as our online platform. We have found it easy to use and although we are looking forward to meeting our clients again in person, for now, we are embracing and feeling grateful for technology. If you’re new to online therapy, we have some simple tips which will help you transition with ease, to this new form of connecting!
Tips for Starting Online Therapy
You may find it helpful to write down your concerns and any questions you may have about switching to online therapy. If it will be your first experience with therapy, you may have even more questions about the process. Feel free to ask your therapist!
Your therapist will take every possible measure to protect your confidentiality during online therapy including, using an online platform which adheres to all Canadian privacy protection legislation, and conducting therapy from a private and distraction-free environment. You are encouraged to find a quiet, private space free from interruption. You may also consider using headphones to increase privacy and cut out background noise.
Ensure you have submitted the necessary consent to online therapy form in advance of your appointment. Next, download and install Zoom to your computer or install the Zoom Cloud Meetings App on your mobile device. As your appointment approaches, your therapist will provide you with a meeting ID and password so that you can ‘join’ Zoom for your scheduled therapy appointment. Be sure to set up your computer or phone so that it will be high enough for the camera to be in line with your eyes and place the device about an arms distance from you.
Decide on a quiet place where you can consistently meet for video therapy. The space should feel warm, cozy, and safe. Having water and tissues close by will be helpful as well as a pen and paper to note anything of importance.
When meeting a therapist in person, at our office, you have time to prepare during your travel to the office, or while sitting in the waiting area. With online therapy the transition from life to therapy is much quicker. Take a moment, before your session to pause, and breathe.
Take it Slow
Meeting online can lead people to share intimate information more quickly than they would in person. To ensure that you share at a pace that feels comfortable to you, take the session slowly. Take deep breaths and don’t be afraid to pause or allow silences to arise. Practice patience if technological issues (audio delays, frozen video) arise. Pause. Breathe. It’s okay. We will figure it out together.
Online therapy will feel different from meeting your therapist in their office. It’s important that we give ourselves the chance to adjust to this.