What is telehealth therapy?
Telehealth therapy are remote sessions with a mental health provider, where a therapists meets with clients as they usually would in an office but over a phone or live video call.
Are telehealth sessions new?
Telehealth options are not new, as they have increasingly become an alternate way to access therapy services. While they offer more convenience and flexibility, many therapists have continued to provide services only in an in-person, face-to-face setting. (This is very similar other medical appointments with doctors and physicians, and we can understand why when we think about how most of our important conversations and relationships involve a large amount of communication in-person rather than over text messages or social media.) However, due to health concerns and cautionary measures related to COVID-19, therapists are moving to providing support via telehealth as a way of helping reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.
What should I expect from a telehealth appointment?
Telehealth may be new territory for both therapists and their clients; therefore therapists are are working to make sure they can provide the same services as smoothly as possible. Every therapist and agency will have a different process for telehealth appointments, so this is a great question to ask them. But generally, you can still expect the same support that a therapist would provide in an office setting. Even if they are working from home, they ethically are required to take specific steps that ensure your session remains confidential.
What can I do to help sessions still feel like ones in my therapist’s office?
Part of what makes therapy sessions unique and memorable is that a routine is established. You regularly go to a certain office where you don’t normally go for anything else where it’s comfortable, quiet, and private. You will likely find it very helpful to get creative and make your own routine around telehealth sessions. Here are some ideas:
- Pick a room or piece of furniture to be in that you don’t use often
- Wear a favorite cozy jacket or blanket
- Get yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or water to sip
- Spend a few minutes before the session starts and take some deep breaths (imagine you’re in a waiting room)
- Take a walk around the block after the session ends
- You and your therapist can also discuss more ideas to help create the best space in your day and environment for these sessions