HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE THERAPY SPACE
Online therapy is a great, flexible way to access counselling.
By having counselling/psychotherapy through Zoom, you can enjoy:
feeling safe and comfortable in your own home
not wasting time and energy on travel
not needing to worry about traffic or transport delays
being able to relax afterwards
full encryption to ensure online confidentiality
However, there are some challenges in working online, so the points below are designed to help you create a safe and comfortable therapy space and ensure you get the most out of your sessions.
1) Internet connection
Generally, if your internet is good enough to stream YouTube or Netflix videos, then it will probably work perfectly for Zoom counselling. However, it's always worth checking your internet is running as normal on the day of your session. It's also a good idea to close other applications and browser windows on your device to ensure they aren't slowing down your connection.
2) Suitable space
Make sure to choose a suitable, private space for counselling, where you won't be overheard by others. You'll need a comfy chair to sit on and somewhere secure to place your device where you can see it (and your device's camera can see you too).
It can be easy to get distracted at home, so choose a quiet space where you won't be interupted. You may find it helpful to use a 'do not disturb' sign or tell friends and family that you'll be busy during your session time. I also recommend putting your phone on silent and placing it out of view so you aren't distracted by any notifications that pop up.
4) Feeling comfortable
As you're at home, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in and bring a drink in your favourite cup or mug. It may also help to give yourself a couple of minutes to relax, breathe and mentally prepare before starting your session.
As with any technology, there's a risk of problems so make sure you have a back-up option in case you can't connect to Zoom or get cut off. I always call clients if there are technical issues that last more than a few minutes, so we can continue via phone. If you're not familiar with Zoom, it's also worth checking you know how to use it in advance.
6) After your session
It's a good idea to give yourself time to reflect on your session and process any feelings that may have arisen before going back to your other tasks and commitments. You may find it useful to take a few minutes to go for a walk, do something fun, meditate, or do another activity to help you transition from the therapy space and back into day-to-day life.