As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our normal way of life, more and more people have turned to digital platforms. The mental health industry is no different, and a lot of people have opted to visit with their provider using teletherapy. The advantages, especially in the era of social distancing, are numerous. Telehealth allows you to receive treatment from anywhere and eliminates a lot of inconveniences. In addition, digital document management and signing systems can help you avoid spending large amounts of time completing forms. Despite these benefits, it doesn’t mean it’s always simple to get the most out of telehealth sessions. Distractions, technical issues, and other hiccups can make the process feel intimidating. To get the most out of the time with your provider, follow these four tips.
Between push notifications, work emails, and the needs of those around you, there’s plenty of distractions. Unfortunately, these don’t pause just because you are trying to focus on your mental or physical health. Setting boundaries for yourself and your time can make a huge difference. It’s also worth it to consider environmental issues like lighting, which can be distracting from the session. Pulling your blinds and turning off extra screens like televisions can help minimize ambient distractions which tend to pull your focus away. Your experience will be better and more productive if you make sure your location is prepared.
Bonus Tip: It can be a good idea to set your phone on “do not disturb” mode if you’ll be conducting your session with a computer.
Solve the Audio Problem
Related to minimizing distractions, it’s best to choose a location in your home where you can get some quiet. It’s hard to get the most out of your session if you can barely hear what’s going on! You might even consider your car as a location if your living space is crowded or too small. However, be sure your internet connection is robust enough to work there!
Another consideration is the audio quality put out by the phone or computer you’ll use for the session. If your phone and computer speakers or microphones don’t get loud enough for you to hear, sound-canceling headphones can be a good option. Look for units that include a microphone so your provider can hear what you’re saying as well!
Take a Few Minutes to Prepare
With the added convenience of teletherapy, use the time you save by not coming into the office to make sure you have everything you might need for your session. It’s a good idea to review your goals for the session or what you’re hoping to accomplish. Consider grabbing a glass of water or a charger for the device you’ll be using as well. It can also be a good idea to make sure that you’re able to adequately use the platform that your provider works on. FAQs and troubleshooting guides can benefit you greatly if you’re unfamiliar with the platform – or ask your provider or the front desk for assistance before your session start time.
Another consideration to cover before the session is your internet connection. It’s not a bad idea to test your internet’s speed before your session. If your connection is slow, you may want to consider moving to a location with a better signal. Letting your provider know that there may be a spotty connection is always an option, too.
Acting natural is easier said than done though, right? It can definitely be difficult to get comfortable if you’re not used to video conferencing, but rest assured that like most things, it does tend to get easier with practice. So don’t worry if you don’t feel completely at ease even after taking some of these steps – that’s totally normal. One great thing about telehealth is that you’ll be in a more natural environment which can help you feel more at ease. So take advantage of that environmental benefit if you’re able to – it can help to wear comfortable clothes, too. If you have tried some of these tips and still don’t feel comfortable in a telehealth session, be sure to bring it up with your provider. While this list doesn’t present every option, following these simple tips can help you make your teletherapy session more effective.
Above all, getting these things squared away ahead of time allows for more focus during your teletherapy visit. Click here to learn more about our services, including telehealth.