Being thrown into the midst of a pandemic is no easy feat. From spending your days working from home to not being able to see family could really take a toll on your mental health. But is online therapy as good as the real day? We take a look at how beneficial online therapy could be, and tips for therapists and clients alike to make the most of this experience.
How does online therapy work?
Therapy sessions usually take place in a therapist’s office. It definitely seems more intimate, enclosed and comfortable than having a conversation over Zoom. Regardless, online therapy could be a useful tool to help you maintain your mental wellbeing during this trying time.
Online therapy is very similar to regular therapy. Your therapist will discuss your case with you, talk you through your emotions and help you leave the session with a better understanding of yourself. Online therapy, however, takes place over a video conference. This new medium does bring some novel challenges.
The challenges of online therapy
Online therapy can be more challenging as some clients find it awkward, and uncomfortable to open up over video chat. Additionally, the lack of real-time social cues could make therapy an even more precarious experience. Besides this, therapists cite a new challenge of not being able to signpost to clients when time is running out. This could mean that sessions end abruptly, and clients leave without properly addressing their concerns for the session.
Tips for therapists and clients
#1 Create a safe space for therapy
Some people find online therapy enjoyable because it can be conducted from the comforts of their homes. Others find it strange, or struggle to open up in a space they share with others. Regardless, it’s important for clients to allocate a unique space and time for therapy. This means conducting sessions in private, within an enclosed and familiar space. Therapists should suggest this to clients beforehand, while clients can take initiative on their own and inform housemates to give them space during therapy sessions.
#2 Name your emotions more explicitly
Online therapy lacks the social cues that real-life therapy involves. As such, therapists might misunderstand clients while clients find it difficult to express themselves. Both parties should encourage explicit naming of emotions and expression of thoughts such that the session can be as useful as possible. Clients should practise being clear on how they feel, while therapists should coax these emotions out of them.
#3 Use an online timer to stay on track
An online timer, like Timeqube Online, is a great way for both therapists and clients to stay on track. A Timeqube is an unobtrusive mindfulness tool that indicates the passing of time through a gentle change of color. Timeqube online sits that the corner of your computer, indicating the passing of time to all attendants of a meeting. It’s a stress-free way for therapists and clients to know how much time has passed during a session. Give it a go today and know exactly how to pace your online therapy sessions, such that they feel like the real deal.