New to teletherapy? You’re not alone. People are flocking to this new method of mental health counseling for a myriad of reasons. Be it convenience, safety or comfort, teletherapy is the therapy of the future (and the present), especially as individuals look to deal with the social distancing protocols enforced as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Here are 6 things you can expect if you’re jumping onboard the teletherapy train.
Almost all modern therapy for adults revolves around open, honest conversation. The bulk of your sessions will include an exchange between you and your therapist, one that focuses on your experiences, your thought process and the issues in your life that interfere with finding fulfillment and satisfaction. Sometimes the conversations flow naturally, but they are almost always first guided by questions posed by your therapist, questions that can help you reach the root of a certain thought, feeling or behavior.
Therapy is the process of vocalizing interior thoughts and working toward your own solutions, led by a trained mental health professional. You always have the right to self-determination, but with the help of your therapist you’ll come to learn what you want, and more importantly, what you want the most.
Talking with a therapist may be uncomfortable at first, but your mental health professional will help you ease into the process. Eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings, all within a secure, confidential therapy environment. Sometimes, it will take several sessions before you feel secure enough to open up. Rest assured, all conversation takes place for the sole purpose of improvement, within a non-judgmental environment your counselor works hard to maintain.
Many people find that the sooner they are able to open up to their therapist, the sooner they experience the positive benefits of online mental health counseling. You may even feel a massive relief in giving a voice to harbored thoughts.
Your relationship with your therapist will be unlike any other relationship you have. Sharing so openly with someone who was just recently a stranger creates a bond that will serve to make teletherapy sessions as effective as possible. This trusting relationship between therapist and client is actually one of the key indicators of successful therapy.
As time progresses, your therapist assume an important role in your life, while at the same time maintaining professional boundaries to preserve your relationship.
4. Treatment Planning
Mental health treatment always involves a treatment plan. Whether this is a formal, scheduled program with goals and objectives or more of a casual outline, a treatment plan should be part of your teletherapy expectations. A treatment plan will guide your therapist in helping you to achieve a satisfying lifestyle. Because the end goal looks different for everyone, your treatment plan will be individually tailored to your needs and aspirations.
Feel free to ask your therapist about your treatment plan. It might be something you write out together, or it may be something your therapist has jotted down based on conversations. Some therapists are very intentional in addressing the goals in the treatment plan during every session, and some are more prone to follow the client’s lead in addressing problems as they arise. Again, your teletherapy sessions are individualized, and your therapist will adjust to what helps you best.
5. Help with Medication
Although therapy addresses the psychological aspects of the problems in our lives, medication can help us to address the physical side. Because there is a component of every mental health issue that occurs in the body, it is only natural to treat the body and the mind at the same time, using the most effective means for each. During your mental health teletherapy, your therapist can help you learn about and manage medication. Introducing medication into your mental health treatment should never be done without regular consultation with a mental health professional. You can best understand the effects of individually prescribed medications when discussed with your counselor or other psychiatric professional.
Aside from advice regarding medication, your therapist can also offer educated input on numerous aspects of your life. If it appears that your family has a major impact on your mental wellness, your therapist may offer suggestions, and even role-play scenarios with you, to instill positive coping mechanisms useful in navigating family conflict. Your therapist may also offer more specific lifestyle recommendations, like exploring nutrition and exercise, or help you find a career path that will support your mental health.
Each therapist is unique in his or her approach, and will cater an online counseling session to your needs and goals. However, there are some commonalities across teletherapy. Your expectations should include conversation with a licensed professional, openness with your therapist, a unique relationship between you and your provider, an individualized treatment plan, medication management and recommendations from your mental health professional.
Get active help in managing mental health concerns today, through professional teletherapy offered exclusively through The Light Program. Our online counseling programming can help you address life’s challenges as they arise, all benefits you can receive through therapy conducted online. Call (610) 644-6464, or learn even more about the value of mental health teletherapy through The Light Program today.