Taking the plunge into online therapy is usually the hardest part. For some reason, people are resistant to the idea of considering therapy. But it’s incredibly useful for helping improve mental health, enhance well-being, and taking control of your health. Switching to an online therapy platform is a good choice if you worry about the stigma of being in therapy, don’t have a lot of time, or looking for something convenient and affordable. Online therapy platforms are incredibly versatile and can take care of many issues. Today, we’ll tell you how to get ready for an online therapy appointment and get the most out of it.
Book The Appointment
The entire process begins with booking an appointment. First, you’ll need to find a good online therapy provider. There are an array of fantastic options out there, each with their own amenities. Some things you might look for in an online therapy provider are whether they take your insurance, if they operate on a subscription, what type of messaging or teleconferencing they use, and online reviews from other patients. Upon making you selection, you’ll need to be matched up with a therapist. Therapists will be recommended from a list of practitioners on the site. Each one should have its own biographical information and page you can check out. Another thing to consider is that online therapists must be licensed in the state in which you are obtaining the therapy. That means if you’re in Arizona, your therapist will also be in Arizona. It’s the same for Colorado or Texas (or many other states for that matter). After booking the consultation, your appointment will start quite quickly. Sometimes, the appointment is available within minutes or the same day. It ultimately just depends on the provider you choose.
Set Up A Comfortable Space
Therapy works best when you’re as comfortable as possible. That’s why it’s so crucial to set up a comfortable space in which to have the appointment. The space in which you take your therapy appointment should be somewhere you find pleasant. Make sure it’s quiet and that you won’t be disturbed. Keep something to drink nearby so you don’t have to get up during the session. If you have the ability to do some soundproofing, that can work to your advantage but is not strictly necessary. Make sure that you don’t have a TV, radio, or other noise going on in the background. Ultimately, you should cultivate a space that lends itself well to healing and discussing your concerns to get the most out of an online therapy appointment.
Test Your Tech
When doing any kind of online communication—whether it’s a business meeting or online medical/therapy appointment—it’s vital to ensure all your tech is working properly. Double check your internet connection and settings. Ensure your device is hooked up properly and doesn’t have any latency issues. If you’re doing a video call, test your software ahead of time. If it’s a phone call, make sure your service is on and working correctly. Finally, don’t forget to have something nearby to take notes and reference pertinent information. That way, you can ensure your appointment goes well and you can keep track of any notes, suggestions, or medications the therapist discusses with you.
Discuss Concerns With Your Therapist
Therapy can be effective and useful, but sometimes patients don’t know how to approach a topic or simply have no idea what to talk about during the therapy session. Having a discussion with your therapist should be comfortable and private. Remember that the therapist will keep everything you tell them confidential and they won’t pass judgment. They also need to keep your information secure. Anything you discuss with the therapist is going to be between you and them, ultimately helping you benefit from the treatment they provide. Whether you’re feeling stress, anxiety, depression, or something else, having a thorough and honest discussion can help you work through your issues easily.
Get Your Prescription (If Any)
Online therapists offer many of the same services as traditional therapists. They can help you with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health conditions, relationship issues and more. But they also offer something that traditional therapists can’t always accommodate: prescriptions for medications. In most states, online therapists are legally allowed to prescribe medications as long as they’re licensed to practice medicine in their state. Antidepressants and other types of medicine are typical of what an online therapist can offer. There is some restrictions to medicines they can prescribe, predominantly related to controlled substances (you have to visit a doctor in person to obtain these). These prescriptions work much the same way as they do with online doctors. You do the consultation, the therapist determines if you need medication, and send it to your local pharmacy. At that point, you pick it up and can continue treatment at your own convenience.