Are you nervous about starting online therapy? Online therapy may suit you for many reasons. It is great for those with busy schedules, as it enables you to fit therapy into you lifestyle better when it suits you e.g. on your lunch break! If you live remotely or travelling to a clinic is difficult, online therapy ensures you receive the care you need. It also means you can continue your sessions if you go travelling. It allows you to avoid the traffic, and the waiting rooms, and receive therapy in your own safe space.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians have been able to access Telehealth services through the Better Access initiative, which provides Medicare rebates to eligible people. Earlier this year, Telehealth became permanent due to its huge success in ensuring the continuity of care for people all over the country. This was fantastic news for both health providers and the community.
So, if Telehealth is going to become a continual mode of care, how can you get the most out of it? Here are eight of our top tips to help you prepare for your Telehealth sessions.
Set yourself up like it’s any other session.
Make sure you have some time before and after to process and self-care. It takes courage and effort to do the work you do in sessions, so it’s important to give yourself that time.
Create a safe space for the session.
Do it somewhere you won’t have to worry about interruptions, perhaps by booking a meeting room if you’re Telehealthing from work, or sitting in the car or shutting your bedroom door.
It’s completely okay to turn off self-view.
You can do this by pressing the three dots on the video of you at any time during the call. You wouldn’t normally spend the session looking in the mirror so Telehealth doesn’t have to be different.
Don’t worry about your background.
Remember Telehealth can be used for lots of reasons, whether it’s a quarantine, car troubles or just preferring to be in the comfort of your own home. Don’t stress out trying to make your background look clean, tidy or pretty. We don’t mind or notice because we focus on YOU!
Take advantage of Telehealth to fit therapy into your lifestyle.
The beauty of Telehealth is you can invest in mental health from where ever you are, in the middle of the work day, and keep up with therapy whilst you’re travelling.
Be ready with snacks and drinks.
You don’t want to hit sugar low during an appointment, especially after a long day at work or school. Keep those snacks close by!
Pop your devices on ‘Do Not Disturb’.
Make sure you’re giving yourself this time away from other needs. You deserve it.
Keep notes between sessions on the things you want to talk about.
This will help you prepare for your next session, and be able to bring up important things you may wish to discuss.
Written by Madeleine Davies, Northside Psychology Provisional Psychologist.