online-therapy-ca

Blog

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Online Therapy Visit

written by Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse Written by Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse

Tessa is a MSN prepared Registered Nurse with 10 years of critical care experience in healthcare. When not practicing clinical nursing, she enjoys academic writing and is passionate about helping those affected by medical aliments live healthy lives.

Read more posts by this author.
reviewed by Amy Kaplan, LCSW Reviewed by Amy Kaplan, LCSW
Amy Kaplan, LCSW

Amy Kaplan, LCSW

Amy Kaplan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety and trauma. Ms. Kaplan earned a BA with Distinction in Psychology from Penn State University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. Her extensive experience in the mental health field since 1997 includes inpatient and outpatient settings as a psychotherapy provider, clinical supervisor and mental health consultant. With the use evidenced-based treatment, Ms. Kaplan helps those she works with learn how to use their inner strengths and lead a more balanced life.

April 6, 2022 Read Time - 6 minutes

How to Prepare for Your Online Therapy Visit

Preparing in advance for an online therapy visit can help you make the most of your therapy appointment time at PlushCare. Thinking about what brings you to therapy now and preparing your meeting space to ensure privacy is a good place to start. Once you have an idea of why you are scheduling a therapy appointment and what you would like to accomplish, it will be easier to manage and prepare for your appointment.

Key factors to consider include writing down or thinking about questions you have for your therapist, setting up your phone or computer ahead of time, and making sure to fill out all of the required online forms prior to your first appointment.

Keep reading to get additional information and insight about how to prepare for your online therapy visit at PlushCare.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

PlushCare-App-Steps

What is an Online Therapy Visit?

Online therapy is the same as in person therapy, the only difference being you are meeting with a licensed therapist online rather than going to a therapist’s office. Online therapy is conducted via a secure video chat by a licensed therapist, where you can talk about your feelings and what may be distressing you or keeping you from feeling OK.

Therapists offer ways to manage emotions, feel more balanced, and may offer coping skills to help guide you through difficult situations or memories. Our experienced therapists will tailor your sessions to meet your unique needs.  

According to the American Psychological Association, online therapy is effective, and research has found satisfaction to be high among patients and therapists. 

Before technology made online therapy possible, therapy was typically held in person in an office setting. Online therapy is now commonly completed online through video technology, similar to a Zoom call,  in the comfort of your own home. Some benefits of online therapy include:

  • Convenience
  • Affordability
  • Accessibility

PlushCare offers online therapy with licensed therapists. You can either book a single therapy session or sign up for weekly sessions. PlushCare also offers a free initial 15 minute consultation where you can meet with a therapist before scheduling an appointment to ask questions and see if it is a good fit for you.  

Verifying What State You Are In

Verifying which state you are in before your online therapy session is important. Because therapist licensing is state-based, your online therapist must be licensed to practice in the state you are currently located in during the time of the session. PlushCare’s online therapy platform automatically gives you therapists to choose from your state, which makes choosing the right therapist easy.

Technical Setup for Your Online Therapy Visit

Some technical setup is required to participate in online therapy. It is done by utilizing a secure, video conferencing platform to perform therapy sessions online. In order to have a successful online therapy visit, be sure to have the following prepared through your computer or smartphone:

  • Stable Wi-Fi
  • A functioning microphone and camera
  • Access to the PlushCare website or app

A stable internet connection is a high priority for online therapy. Without a stable Wi-Fi connection, you run the risk of accidentally disconnecting or dropping a virtual therapy session.

You will need a working camera and microphone to speak with your therapist during the online session. Typically most phones or computers have a microphone and camera that can work well. During your online therapy visit, make sure the microphone and video icons are on when you are viewing the screen.

At PlushCare, our therapists double-check Wi-Fi strength, camera, and microphone access prior to therapy sessions to give you peace of mind. You might consider logging into the PlushCare app 10 minutes before your online therapy session to make sure everything is in working order.

Being in a safe and quiet place is important so you can hear, concentrate, and have the therapist be able to hear your responses. Being in a private space helps with confidentiality. Make sure you have a designated safe place to talk. If you are driving or in a public place during the session, you may be asked to reschedule your visit. 

Overall, being prepared will help you make the most of your online therapy visit.

How to Avoid Distractions During Your Online Therapy Session

Online therapy visits may make people more prone to distractions since they are not physically in an office or clinic. It is important to mention that you should not be driving a vehicle during your session, since this is extremely dangerous and may lead to injury.

Some common distractions to avoid during your online therapy visit include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Exercising
  • Driving
  • Scrolling through social media
  • Texting or checking emails
  • Browsing the Internet

To help avoid distractions during therapy, it is important to set the intention of devoting your complete and total attention to the session before it starts. To stay connected during an online  therapy visit, consider:

  • Closing all browsers and other tabs
  • Turning off all other video tools such as Skype and Zoom
  • Disabling notifications for 1 hour during your session
  • Scheduling a session when you are home alone
  • Scheduling sessions when children are at school or daycare
  • Eating and drinking before your session begins
  • Using the restroom before your session begins

Filling Out Any Screening Forms Ahead of Time

Filling out screening forms completely and honestly will provide your therapist with useful information. Screening forms are used for the purpose of getting to know you better, in order to provide the best possible mental health services. All answers on screening forms are kept confidential as required by state and federal law. 

Come With a List of Questions or Topics You Want to Cover

Writing down or thinking about questions before you talk with your therapist helps you to be prepared and help you to get the most out of your session. 

Examples of questions you may ask your therapist include:

  • Is what I am feeling “normal”?
  • How do I stick up for myself in a healthy way?
  • What is the best way to deal with conflict at work?
  • How can I heal from the traumatic events I have been through?
  • What tools can I use to help me with this situation?

You can also ask the therapist questions about his or her practice, such as what is the therapist’s area of specialty, or what methods does he/she use for therapy.

During an online therapy session, people often talk about relationships, specific events in their  life, vent feelings, or ask general mental health questions. Your therapist is there to guide you and help you understand the complexities of emotional health and relationships, and will set goals with you that meet your individual needs.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Talk to a Therapist Online

Our therapists are here to help. You can book an online therapy visit with PlushCare. We offer convenient and affordable online therapy services with licensed therapists through our HIPAA-compliant online therapy platform.

If you are looking to support your mental health, online therapy may be right for you. Book an online therapy appointment today.


Read More About Online Therapy


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

American Psychological Association. (2015). What you need to know before choosing online therapy. Accessed on March 24, 2022 at https://www.apa.org/topics/telehealth/online-therapy 

Psychology Today. (2021). How to prepare for your first virtual therapy session. Accessed on March 24, 2022 at How to Prepare for Your First Virtual Therapy Session | Psychology Today

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

Our commitment to you.

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • right Tick Image

    Research from sources you can trust

  • right Tick Image

    Medical reviews by field experts

  • right Tick Image

    Frequent content updates

More to learn.