Tips for Getting the Most out of Our Telehealth Session
Just because you’re not in my office doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of the help you receive from our counseling session. However, you will need to prepare a little in order for it to have the same impact. I’ve laid out the steps you can take to insure you get the most out of our time together. Before our scheduled session:
- Let others in your household know when you will be in session so they can prepare to not interrupt you.
- Take 5-10 minutes before beginning to mentally reflect on what you want to discuss. This replaces the natural break you get from when you drive to an office and spend a few minutes alone in a waiting room. Use this pre-session time to write down a few things that you want to focus on.
- Choose a quiet place where your privacy will be secure. Psychological safety is absolutely necessary for the level of transparency needed in successful counseling. If you are concerned that your voice will carry to other rooms, place a fan or speaker playing white noise just outside your door. Some clients in crowded quarters have communicated from their garage, walk-in closet, or even their car. Do whatever it takes for you to feel safe and private.
- Plan to sit down and focus your attention during the session. While you should feel relaxed, you don’t want to be too casual. This is not the time to do chores. You (or your insurance) are paying for a professional who takes your mental health seriously.
- Make sure you won’t be distracted by noise from a TV, radio, etc., nearby. Earphones are recommended since they both drown out ambient noise and block my voice from others nearby.
- Check your internet or phone connection from the place you have chosen. There’s nothing worse than your computer cutting out in the middle of an emotional moment. It’s a good idea to prepare for that risk even if your connection is usually stable by deciding who will reach out to who to reconnect (by default, that will be you). If you anticipate an especially heavy session, practice your grounding techniques in advance, should your computer incur a sudden technology glitch.
- Have all the things at your disposal that you would if you were in my office. This includes a box of Kleenex, a drink, a piece of paper and a pen. Gather anything else you usually bring to a session (such as your journal, follow-up counseling homework or a book you are reading).
- Turn your phone and computer to Do Not Disturb mode for an hour so you won’t be interrupted by non-urgent texts or emails from your office or friends. You deserve to give this your undivided attention.
As my client, your progress is my primary concern. I’m confident that by taking these steps our time together will be useful and productive towards improving the quality of your life.
Sometimes when I pray, I write out the prayers. This is where I keep them.