Unfortunately, I had a pretty traumatic childhood. My parents were always fighting, and I was faced with trying to decide what to do about my own personal feelings. When I got older, I knew that I needed to do something to relieve the stress that I was feeling even many years later, so I started focusing on going to counseling. My first few appointments were a little nerve-racking, but the counselor worked hard to make me feel comfortable. I was really impressed with how gentle and kind she was, and I felt really great about the progress I was making. This blog is all about benefiting from counseling.
Whether you are working through a recent trauma, a divorce, or simply want to live your best life, therapy is a great way to gain a better understanding of yourself. Unfortunately, many people are either unable to schedule an in-person therapy session or they would feel more comfortable talking to a therapist from their own home.
Either way, if you have scheduled your first telehealth counseling appointment, here are a few simple tips to help you prepare.
Finish Any Pre-Treatment Assessments and Quizzes
Before your first appointment, your therapist will ask you to complete several assessments to understand your overall health better. This typically includes questions about your symptoms, how long you have been experiencing your symptoms, and if any members of your family also struggle with mental health issues.
Write down all of the medications you are currently taking, any allergies to medications you have, and your height and weight, if necessary. This information will be helpful if the therapist prescribes any medications.
Create a Safe Space for Your Session
The therapist will often ask you to find an area in your home that is quiet and that you feel comfortable and safe during the appointment. Because you want confidentiality, choose an area that is away from anyone else in your home. Running a box fan or turning on a radio or television to a low volume will also help you concentrate and drown out any noise from your household.
You might also consider scheduling your appointment for when you are alone in the home to ensure there are no disruptions during your session.
Prepare a List of Questions
If this is your first experience with both telehealth and therapy in general, chances are you will have many questions. Write all these questions down, and don't hesitate to ask your counselor or therapist during this first visit. For example, you might want to ask how many times a week you will meet, what will be discussed during the session, and if medication will be suggested.
Check Your Internet Connection
Finally, make sure you are set up and can connect to your therapist. You will need a computer or laptop, ideally. However, you can attend your session on your cell phone if allowed. Check your internet connection before signing into the telehealth site.
You will typically be asked to register and agree to the telehealth site's policies.
For many people, telehealth counseling is a great way to meet with a therapist from the comfort and safety of their own home.