Online therapy: A Guide for Clients

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COVID-19 has changed the ways we engage with everyone in our lives, including our counselors. For many clients, that means putting in-office meetings on hold and temporarily replacing them with phone calls and video therapy. Although technology offers options to keep us connected, it’s okay to feel concerned, intimidated, and relieved all at the same time! If you’re feeling unsure, here are some tips to help you navigate this new world of counseling.

First, communicate with your counselor. This is (hopefully) a person you’ve grown to trust, so it’s a wonderful place to process your concerns about confidentiality, quality, and logistics. It might help to have all of your questions and concerns written out ahead of time. Once you’re on the same page about how your sessions will take place, make sure you’ve got any necessary technology lined up prior to your meeting time.

Second, consider the setting. In a counseling office, the space is already set up to be conducive for privacy, comfort, and emotional work. How can you replicate that in your home? Find a comfortable place with the level of privacy you’d like. Wear comfortable clothes for your session, and take a few minutes ahead of time to sit quietly and get centered using techniques from your work together. Leave some buffer time for after your session, too. That space to decompress will help seal the therapeutic time and allow light-bulb moments to set in a bit more. it can also be helpful to have your journal handy or a tablet for note-taking.

Ultimately, keep in mind that your counselor in on your team. If technology fails or video feeds lag, your therapeutic relationship is built to weather whatever storms this odd season throws at you. We’re all in this together!

Published by Jessica Gage, MA, LPC, NCC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (license #PC007550) and a National Certified Counselor.

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