From work-related stress to emotional rough patches, counselling and mental health services can offer convenient solutions to life’s most common worries both big and small. While taking that first step towards counselling can feel momentous, you have more options than ever before when it comes to accessing the care you need, including online counselling. Online tools make it easier and more convenient than ever to connect with a qualified counsellor. Here is what you need to know to prepare for your first appointment.
Preparing for Online Counselling and Mental Health Services
1. Create a comfortable space for Counselling.
The convenience of counselling online means that you can connect in the comfort of your own home or office. However, where and how you connect matters. A loud environment can interfere with your ability to communicate clearly while harsh lighting or unpleasant scenery can distract you. Instead, you might prefer to choose a quiet, soothing room where you will be in the right headspace to prioritize your emotional wellness and do the healing work necessary in counselling.
2. Be flexible with Online Counselling.
Even in the most comfortable of spaces, online counselling can feel a little awkward at first. Technological glitches can lead to uncomfortable pauses, but sticking with the process can be ultimately rewarding. Online therapy improves access to therapy, and research indicates that it is just as effective as in-person therapy. With online counselling and mental health services, you have access to the same high-quality care you need in an environment in which you already feel safe, cosy, and comfortable.
3. Get comfortable with technology.
Because online therapy can be conducted in many ways on the same platform, including messaging, audio, video, or webcam, you might have several options for working with your mental health counsellor. This enables you to pick one that works more effectively for you. Ideally, your choice will be one with which you feel comfortable but that also works well in your chosen environment. For example, you might opt to switch off your camera if your family is nearby but prefer video conferencing if you want a more personal touch. You have plenty of options, and you can customize them as needed to make the most out of your experience.
4. Take notes, and get creative with your Mental Health Counsellor.
If you are anxious and sometimes even if you are not, you might forget what you want to say. Jotting down a brief outline or some notes about what you would like to discuss with your counsellor can help you stay on track and use your time more effectively. Name your emotions clearly and concisely, and take the opportunity to share not just how you feel but what you need from this experience. Remember that this is a safe, judgment-free environment, and your counsellor is there to help you gain new insights and develop new tools for working through your emotions, ideas, and problems.
5. Testing: One, Two, Three!
Before your appointment arrives, check your equipment to ensure it all works properly. First things first, your Wi-Fi network should be password protected and private. Second, you should ensure that all distracting tabs and applications are shut down and your devices are turned to “Do Not Disturb” so that you can focus on your session. Your room should be fairly quiet and well-lit. If possible, use headphones with a microphone, which reduces external noises and distractions and improves privacy. Keep the camera at eye level for comfort.
Making the Most of Your Counselling Sessions
During the session, if something is not working for you, let your mental health counsellor know. Together, you can work to ensure the most effective system for your needs.
Online therapy improves the accessibility of care and can be an excellent alternative to face-to-face therapy. You can fit your sessions into your day more easily without needing to worry about travelling to your appointments, juggling appointment times, and dealing with traffic. With online programs, you can sit back and relax in the comfort and privacy of your own space and take control of your concerns on your terms. Visit Renewed Edge today to find out more about our online options or to schedule your consultation with our mental health counsellor.