Thanks to the ever-evolving nature of technology, you no longer have to drive across town and sit in a strange room to receive counselling support. Online counselling means that you are able to connect with a therapist right from the comfort of your own home. All you need is some decent wifi and a smartphone or laptop. As a busy mum myself, I know first-hand how little time there is left in the day when you take out commuting, work, study, caring, household maintenance and a little TLC. Online counselling takes out the travel time and makes finding mental health support that little bit easier.
When you are anxious, depressed or experiencing some other internal conflict, the thought of organising and attending a counselling session can be pretty daunting. Opting for an online session instead can break down some of these barriers and increase the likelihood of reaching out for help. Having a sense of safety and security is essential in the counselling process. Being in a familiar and comfortable environment can help clients to experience this sense of safety from the get-go, providing a strong foundation for vulnerability.
So what can you expect when you book an online counselling session? You will receive an email link to an online form with some background information to complete before your first session. This helps the therapist to understand your context and informs the treatment plan that is best suited to your individual circumstances. If you are wanting access to a medicare rebate, you can also attach your GP referral letter to this form. Closer to the time of your session, you will receive a link to access the video call. And that’s it! It is that easy.
Here are some of my top tips for preparing for an online counselling session:
- Set up a comfortable and private environment – get those extra pillows and cosy blanket ready
- Make sure your phone/laptop and headphones are charged or have your chargers plugged in
- Turn off notifications so that you aren’t getting interrupted during the session
- Fill up your water bottle and/or make a hot drink
- Have a pen and paper with you to write down any important realisations or tasks to follow up with between sessions