Choosing a therapist is an important part of your therapy journey. To help you make that decision, you have access to a free, 15-minute video consultation session. During that time you can talk about what you're experiencing. You'll get a feel for the therapist's approach, style, and how they are gaining a beginning understanding of your concerns. The therapist can identify what may be helpful for you. If you believe the therapist is a good fit you can then decide together how you'd like to proceed.
Therapy should not be painful.
Therapy will likely be challenging.
So, what's the difference between painful and challenging?
To answer that, let's first use an analogy: If you had a personal trainer, you'd want them to help you by making the workouts challenging enough so that you were working hard. Over time, you'll hopefully notice increased strength and endurance and an overall sense of improved health.
What you don't want however, is for your trainer to give you exercises that are: too advanced, overly complicated, move too quickly, hard to follow, not getting you closer to your goal, and that leave you either injured or feeling discouraged.
The same goes for therapy.
It's important for therapy to be specific to your needs, skills, and strengths. It's important for therapy to be challenging enough that you're growing, learning, gaining insights, and healing. We don't want therapy that leaves you feeling judged, discouraged, confused, frustrated or that have you questioning whether your therapist understands and cares about you and your goals, or not.
A typical therapy session is 50-60 minutes. It is important for sessions to begin and end on time so your therapist has time to participate in documentation, reflection, and attending to your file. Counselling services are scheduled via appointment.
Currently our therapy services are offered virtually through our secure online video platform.
Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for your virtual therapy sessions:
1. Choose your therapy space
Your session is held in your place of choice. Choose a space that is quiet, comfortable, and private. You can let your partner, family members, or roommates know you will need some time to yourself. You can place a note on the door and ambient noise machine or music in or outside the room. Closed windows and doors can add additional privacy.
Bring with you that which will make you feel comfortable: a beverage you enjoy, a blanket, a notebook. You may find it helpful to have tissue on hand. If you're attending your session from work, it will help to do what you can to minimize disruptions. Having a cleared desk can help. Make yourself comfortable, have a sweater (or not), and kick off your shoes.
2. Camera positioning
Locate your camera on your laptop/computer, tablet/ipad, or phone. Holding your device may prove a distraction. Prop up your device or stack some books under your laptop/computer to place the camera at your eye level. This lets your therapist see your whole face.
3. Find your lighting
Try to find a spot where the light is in front of you rather than behind you. A light behind you can put you in a shadow and make you hard to see.
4. Maximize your internet
Make it easy for your Telehealth program to perform without glitches. Close out other programs that utilize the internet like Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix. If possible, move close to your WiFi router.
5. Silence your phone
Like sessions in a physical office, your therapy time is just for you. Silence your phone or turn off text or email notifications. You’ll want to give your session your full attention.
6. Consider using headphones
While not necessary for telehealth, headphones with a microphone give your session another layer of privacy. In addition, you may also like the improved sound quality.
7. Know your location
You’ll be asked at the start of the session for the address where you’re located. If you’re in your car, look for the address or landmark. If you’re at a hotel or friend’s home, take down the address prior to the appointment time.
8. Share your emergency contact
If your preferred emergency contact person has changed since your intake appointment, let your therapist know.
9. Joining your video session
Visit the quick guide in Jane to learn more about how to join your video session and use different features here.
10. Schedule a brief break after your session
Online therapy saves lots of time because you won’t be driving, parking, or waiting for your appointment time. However, you also won’t have the transition time in your car that you used to have after your session. Consider scheduling a 10-15 minute block of time to process, journal, pray, or otherwise take a moment to breathe before returning to your regularly scheduled life.
Taking a moment to prepare you, your computer or phone, and your environment can help you get the most out of your online therapy session. If you need additional technical support, Jane offers more tips on troubleshooting.