online-therapy

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What to Expect When You’re Starting Online Therapy

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.

July 1, 2022 Read Time - 6 minutes

What Can You Expect When Starting Online Therapy?

Online therapy provides mental health counseling and helps with conditions like anxiety and depression. When you begin online therapy, you can expect different feelings to surface followed by relief that you are getting the help you need. 

Starting online therapy can be scary, especially if you have never gone to therapy before. Therapy allows you to identify certain emotions, feel those emotions, and work through emotions so that you can begin to heal. There is a saying in therapy circles which is, “if you can feel, then you can heal.” Although “feeling” emotions is scary and sometimes painful, your licensed therapist is with you to provide a safe place and wise guidance. Online therapy is used to treat mental health disorders and provide a safe place to discuss big emotions and life stressors.

What is Online Therapy?

Online therapy is virtual therapy with a licensed therapist. Online therapy is a type of therapy that has become more common. Traditional therapy involves face to face encounters in an office-like setting. Online therapy is the same therapy “session,” however, it is virtual, meaning it is done through your smartphone or computer.

Online therapy sessions are done with video technology using a computer application. You are able to see your therapist through your computer screen and your therapist can also see you on their screen.  Online or virtual therapy has become increasingly popular due to its convenience, affordability, and positive results. 

How Does Online Therapy Work?

Online therapy works by allowing therapy sessions to take place in a secured virtual space. In online therapy sessions, your therapist will discuss your emotions, life stressors, and offer healthy coping mechanisms. Online therapy gives you an opportunity to destress and have a non-bias professional assist you with life stressors and daily difficulties. 

To attend an online therapy session, you simply book an appointment online from anywhere, on your scheduled time. Once your appointment is set, you visit with a licensed online therapist through your smartphone or computer.

How to Choose a Therapist When Starting Online Therapy
Once you decide on online therapy, you can choose your therapist. At PlushCare, we provide biographics, credentials, and accolades of each therapist. You can read through each therapist’s bio to verify compatibility. For example, if you prefer a female therapist with a specialty in trauma resolution, you can scroll through our therapist list and find whomever you need at that time in your life. It is easy to find a therapist who matches your unique needs and preferences.

  • 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 to Know Before Your First Online Therapy Session

Some technological details, therapy goals, and pre-forms are required before your first therapy session. The following is information to know before your first online therapy session:

  • Learn about the technical details and setup required for your online therapy appointment.
  • Consider what your therapy goals would be.
  • Go to your session prepared to discuss questions and issues; have your own questions ready to ask the therapist.
  • Complete pre-session forms and information, such as emergency contacts, medical history, and living situation.

Before your first online therapy session, it is important to make sure your smartphone or computer is equipped with certain technologies. Once you open the PlushCare app, you will be able to check your wifi connection to see if it will securely handle your session.

Once you verify Wifi strength and connectivity, begin to think about your goals for therapy. Your goals may include ways to cope with anxiety related to work, or ways to manage depression symptoms, or even how to communicate effectively with others so that your needs are met. Write down your therapy goals prior to your first online session.

Therapists are licensed healthcare professionals. They require detailed medical history and mental health questionnaires. Before your first online therapy session, you will complete a pre-session form. This form will list emergency contacts as well as give the therapist an idea as to why you are seeking therapy. 

Pre-session forms give the therapist a starting point for your session. The therapist will typically review your medical history and may ask about your childhood, relationships, current living situation, and career. All of these things affect your emotional wellbeing and mental health.

What Questions Will a Therapist Ask You When Starting Online Therapy?

It is important to know that therapists always want you to feel safe and understood. Sometimes therapists will ask specific questions so that they better understand your living environment, life perceptions, and obstacles you are dealing with. Some examples of what your therapist will ask you include:

  • What are your concerns? 
  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What led you to schedule an online therapy appointment?
  • Can you share with me any good or bad memories you have from your childhood?
  • Can you tell me about your current living situation?
  • Can you tell me about your career?

After your session, your therapist will go over the course of your treatment which usually includes goals for therapy and the types of therapy that is offered.The most common type of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). If prescription treatment is recommended, therapists can refer you to one of PlushCare’s board-certified doctors to prescribe medication for mental health management. Experts believe that a combination of therapy and medication is the best treatment for mental health. 

Patient confidentiality and privacy is taken seriously with online therapy. Online therapy has extra security to ensure privacy is maintained and that there are no HIPPA violations. As always, each online session maintains the expectation of patient-therapist confidentiality agreements.

The cost of therapy is categorized into individual sessions or a monthly subscription. Seeing a therapist for online therapy is easy. Visit the “Online Therapy” tab and set up your appointment today. Follow these easy steps:

  • Step 1: Find your match
  • Step 2: Book an online therapy appointment
  • Step 3: Talk to your therapist online

Book an Online Therapy Session Today

Don’t suffer in silence. You can get relief from your mental health symptoms by visiting an online licensed therapist. The hardest part is making an appointment, but once you begin online therapy, you will begin to notice positive changes in your mental health. 

  • 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

Sources:

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

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Morbidity and mortality weekly report (MMWR). Trends in the use of telehealth during the emergence of the COVID19 pandemic-United States, January-March 2020. Accessed on June 18, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6943a3.htm

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