Is Online Therapy Right For You?

Is Online Therapy Right For You?

Elderly Woman Discussing having an online therapy session via computer - Is Online Therapy Right for You? Article by The Therapy Centre

Deciding to start therapy is a huge step to increasing your mental health and wellbeing, and therapists are offering more ways than ever before to connect outside of the traditional in-person session. Many people are embracing online communication to reach out for help from therapists both near and far, increasing access to mental health supports for so many. So how do you know if online therapy is right for you and what should you expect from your first online session?

Why do people choose online therapy?

Online therapy offers people several benefits that they may not see in traditional in-person therapy.

  • Convenience. Instead of having to travel to and from a physical location for each session, online therapy can be done in the comfort of your own home. Clients only need a stable internet connection to access the mental health supports they need. This can be helpful for people with physical limitations, as well as those with limited time.
  • Increased access to specialists. People who are looking for a therapist who specializes in a particular issue aren’t limited to their local area. As long as a therapist is licenced to work within your province, you can seek help for your specific need from any therapist offering online services without having to travel long distances.
  • Comfort. Some people find it hard to speak about difficult issues in person and may be more willing to open up in a virtual setting. People who use video chat and other online communication regularly might be more accepting of online therapy as it is a familiar way of connecting with others.

How to prepare and what to expect:

Trying something new can be scary but being prepared for your first virtual therapy session can make things seem much less intimidating. Here are a few things you should know before your first session:

  • Safety and security. Make sure that you are in a safe and comfortable space where you can share personal information without being overheard or interrupted. While it might seem like a great time-saver to attend therapy while sitting in traffic, you don’t want to be distracted while doing either activity. You also want to make sure that you have access to a stable internet connection so that you aren’t struggling with a lagging video and audio connection.
  • The paperwork. During the first session, your therapist will address all those practical topics like consent forms, privacy and confidentiality, scheduling and fees and payment. This information is important for both you and your therapist, as it sets expectations and provides you with the ground rules of your therapeutic relationship.
  • Information gathering. Your therapist doesn’t know much about you yet, so during the first few sessions they are going to ask a lot of questions to learn how they can provide you with the best support. You may be asked questions about your family, your past, relationships, work, feelings, and more depending on the therapist and their approach to therapy. Be honest. The more you tell them, the more they can help. It might seem like you aren’t getting much from the first few sessions, but your answers provide valuable information for future therapy sessions.
  • Goal setting. Therapists will often ask what your desired outcome from therapy is to direct the conversation and help you set attainable goals. These goals can change over time and help build a foundation for further growth. You can prepare yourself for this by considering what made you interested in seeking therapy in the first place, and how you imagine your life changing with the support of a mental health practitioner.

Are you interested in trying online therapy?

At The Therapy Centre we have skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may be affecting your life, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact. We help individuals cope with difficult life circumstances like the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness as well as anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. We also have a dietitian who can help with setting nutritional goals.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering both in-person and Virtual Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.

Our offices are located across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville, 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, and a NEW location in Toronto at 1849 Yonge St (Yonge and Davisville).