Posted by Alyssa Bishop
In recent years, the popularity of telehealth has risen tremendously. While it was slowly on the rise before 2020, the pandemic catapulted it into a popular option for therapy. The idea of telehealth is not new, but it is unfamiliar territory for many people because of the pandemic. While most are intrigued by its concept, it can be challenging to know what you need to do prior to the appointment to prepare.
Do you have to prep for anything?
Unlike traditional appointments that typically require you to drive, a telehealth visit can happen in the comfort of your own home. If you aren’t sure what to do to prepare yourself, here are some tips on feeling confident before your first session.
Make Sure All Forms Are In
Both traditional and online therapy will require some forms to fill out. Known as intake forms, this is the formal paperwork sent before working with a client. Have these done ahead of time to get the most out of the session. Getting them done sooner will help you feel more at ease. Plus, it will help your therapist feel prepared ahead of the first session.
Check Your Internet Connection
There is nothing worse than a spotty internet connection. There is nothing worse than waiting for yourself or the other person to become unfrozen! Around 20 minutes before the session, test your internet to make sure you have a strong connection to ensure the smoothest session possible. It’s a great idea also to check your data connection if you will be using your phone.
Decide Where You Want to Be While In Session
One of the convenient benefits of telehealth is that we can do it from anywhere. Sitting in a store parking lot in your car? Check. In your living room, kitchen, or bedroom? Also check! Pick a location where you know you are comfortable. One where you are alone and feel as if you can freely speak your mind. Wherever you feel most relaxed, speaking with a therapist will be the best option for you.
Think About What You Want To Talk About
The first session can be the most nerve-wracking, especially if you have never been to therapy before. However, you can make it easier by listing some things you’d like to cover. If you do this ahead of time, it can help you feel less scattered. However, don’t worry if you don’t mention everything you have written down. This is just the first session. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore other topics during future sessions.
Remember, They Are Just A Person Too
One of the scariest parts of therapy can be meeting with a stranger and talking through their problems. It can feel unnerving, especially if you are more guarded and reserved. It’s okay to be nervous before your first therapy session. Therapists know and understand that it isn’t the most comfortable thing for people to do. And when you are facing someone on the other side of a screen, it can almost seem unreal.
Just remind yourself that the person you are talking to is also a person, as well. But, they are someone who is trained to help their clients heal, grow, and find an inner strength they didn’t know they had. And honestly, sometimes the therapist may be a little nervous as well. They want to be able to help everyone in the most effective ways possible.
Telehealth is new and trending, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If you are ready to connect with someone, be it in person or through telehealth, I am here to support you through whatever you are facing.