When people hear the term ‘depression therapy or counselling’, what they usually picture is a patient on a couch sitting right across a counsellor with a notebook and pen in tow. This is an image of a face-to-face session – the approach that most people are accustomed to.
Nowadays, however, depression counselling and other forms of therapies are no longer just done through face-to-face interactions. They can be conducted online via chat or video call, the latter being the most preferred method.
Getting online therapy for depression has been around for quite some time. But it was only last year when a lot of people became aware of its availability because of the pandemic.
Online Therapy for Depression: How Different Is It from a Face-to-Face Session?
Getting counselling online is really no different from a face-to-face meeting. Your counsellor is still going to employ the same approach she uses. She is also going to abide by the same rules – i.e., confidentiality agreement.
Furthermore, sessions are still timed, and you would have to set an appointment as you would with face-to-face counselling.
What sets it apart is just really the ‘venue’ as both you and the counsellor are no longer confined in the same room. You can now actually attend the session from anywhere for as long as you have an Internet connection. With this, you no longer have to worry about missing your appointment when you’re out of town or stuck in traffic.
Ultimately, an online counselling session is just the same as a face-to-face one except that the former takes place in the digital sphere. But while the approach or the process is the same, it is still an entirely new thing. As such, patients (and even counsellors) may need time to adjust to it.
How to Get Online Therapy for Depression
If you are thinking of trying out online counselling services but don’t know what to do or expect, read our guide below.
You can skip this step if your counsellor offers online therapy. But if she doesn’t, then you have to look for one and do your homework. You can ask for a referral from your current counsellor. Alternatively, you can use the Internet to search for one.
One thing you have to keep in mind when doing this is to find out as much information as you can about your prospective counsellor. Aside from the fees, research about their qualifications, approach and reputation.
Prepare for the Counselling Session
Once you’ve chosen a counsellor and set an appointment, the next step is to prepare for the session. If it is your first time to meet the counsellor, list down questions you may have for her.
Even if you are meeting your usual depression counsellor, it is still highly recommended that you prepare before each meeting. This means writing down topics you want to discuss as well as updates you want to share with her.
Your list can be your road map during the session – something that can be very beneficial when you trail off into other topics.
You see, it is a bit more difficult to focus during online counselling sessions as you and the counsellor are not in the same room. So, it would be helpful to have a guide on hand to ensure that you don’t miss anything.
Pick a Safe & Comfortable Space
Aside from making your list, it is best that you decide on where you’ll stay during the online therapy.
Ideally, your chosen spot should be quiet and more importantly, private. Make sure that it is a space where you’ll be able to freely talk without worrying that someone else would overhear you.
Also, the session is going to run for an hour or more, so see to it that you have a comfortable chair.
Turn Off Your Camera View
To make the most out of your session, you have to stay focused and engaged. It can be challenging to do these things if you can see your face on your screen.
When your front camera view is not hidden, chances are high that you’ll be checking how you look from time to time. This means you’ll be distracted during the session.
Successful counselling entails intentional and thorough reflection which can be difficult to achieve if you are unable to focus.
Test Your Gadgets in Advance
As mentioned earlier, online counselling sessions are timed just like face-to-face appointments. Naturally, you want the entire meeting to be devoted to counselling and not troubleshooting your gadgets.
Hence, make sure that your devices are in good working condition before your session. Download all needed apps beforehand and conduct a practise run-through.
By doing these, you ensure that you’d be able to make the most out of the time allotted to you. Furthermore, you get to begin your session calm and composed instead of stressed and confused.
Like face-to-face counselling, getting online therapy for depression for the first time can be nerve-racking. But feeling this way is perfectly normal. Just do your part – follow our tips for a pleasant and fruitful online counselling session.
Do you need a qualified counsellor who offers depression counselling online? Let one of our experts help you gain clarity, put things in perspective and stay on track. Call us now on 01 5240708 or click here to book an online therapy for depression.