By Adrienne Alden-LMFT and Registered Yoga Teacher
Teletherapy has quickly gained popularity in the time of social distancing. In some cases, teletherapy has been in use for some time now. Some feel unsure of online therapy, but most have found it to be better than expected. We at Relationship Restoration have found a few things that enhance the experience.
Seven ways to get the most bang for your buck in online therapy:
Have the camera angle situated so that the therapist can see you as best as possible.
If you are having a couples session, be sure both members of the couple are in view. A therapist can be most helpful when they can observe your facial expressions.
Minimize or disappear your self view.
In-person therapy does not happen in front of a mirror, why start now. It’s easier to dive in when you are looking at your therapist only and not feeling self conscious about your looks. All telecommunication apps have this function. Google how to do it if you can’t figure it out.
Sit in a quiet area where you feel true privacy.
You won’t be able to be vulnerable if you are distracted and feel spied upon. You might have to get creative and sit in your car, go for a walk and use headphones, or sit in a closet.
Couples: sit in the same room if possible.
Telehealth lends itself to people accidentally interrupting each other. If two people are in the same room they can use body cues more easily to give each other time to talk. The therapist can also observe interaction patterns and help you more.
Replicate the drive to the session.
The drive to therapy gives you time to shift gears from daily life to introspection. Take a few moments to sit still before logging into your session. Listen to a few songs, do a meditation, or stretch for five minutes. Don’t move from an office zoom meeting to a zoom therapy session, you wouldn’t do that in person.
You don’t have to stare directly into the camera the whole time.
In person sessions do not happen super close to your face. It’s hard enough to get vulnerable in therapy, we don’t need to intensify it with close penetrating eye contact. Feel free to look around the room, literally sit back and relax, position the camera so more than your face is visible.