How Does Online Therapy Work?
In a post-2020 world, more and more of our lives have gone online.
And while an in-person connection is always great, it can be so convenient to tune into a team meeting from your living room or attend a work conference from your laptop.
You may have even heard about online therapy – where people video chat with a professional therapist from the comfort of their homes.
But how does online therapy work – and could it be the right choice for you?
Here at KMA Therapy, our team of mental health professionals has been serving our community for over fourteen years. With both online and in-person options, we’re experts on all things therapy.
We’re here to help you learn about your options and find the choice that fits into your busy life.
After reading this article, you’ll know what happens during online therapy, what issues online therapists can help with, and how to know if it’s the right choice for you.
What Happens During Online Therapy?
Online therapy works similarly to traditional in-person therapy, with sessions typically ranging from 50 minutes to an hour.
Your initial session will cover topics including why you came to therapy, what you’re looking for in a therapist, and your goals throughout the therapy process.
You’ll work with your therapist to decide your next steps and establish a timeline for how often you want to attend your online therapy sessions.
Therapists typically recommend meeting on a weekly basis or once every two weeks to begin, then having longer times in between sessions as you continue to make process.
What Issues Can an Online Therapist Help Resolve?
Online therapy helps with many of the same issues as traditional, in-person therapy.
Online therapy can help with:
- Grief and Loss
- Family Challenges
- Stress Management
- Self-Esteem and Body Image Issues
Should You See an Online Therapist?
Online and in-person therapy have their own advantages, and choosing between them is a personal decision.
If your therapist offers both online and in-person sessions, you may choose to do both and have the balance of convenience with the benefits of speaking face-to-face.
An online therapist may be a great choice for you if:
- You have access to a safe place where you can speak freely to your therapist
- You don’t have time to commute to a therapist’s office
- You want more options when choosing your therapist
- You want to save money on transportation
An online therapist may not be the right choice for you if:
- You would prefer to speak to a therapist in the comfort and privacy of their office
- You aren’t sure you can connect with someone without meeting them in person
- You don’t like dealing with technology or don’t have access to reliable internet
Online therapy may not be suitable if you’re dealing with a complex mental health condition or experiencing suicidal thoughts, as in-person therapists will be better suited to support you.
If you need immediate support, visit Talk Suicide Canada to connect with a crisis responder to get judgment-free help.
How Can I Find an Online Therapist?
Finding an online therapist can often start with a Google Search of local therapists in your area – many therapists now offer online sessions, providing a great option if you’re interested in attending online and in-person sessions.
Reading blog posts written by therapists can also be a great way to get a feel for how a therapist approaches their work. If you love what they write, that’s a great sign!
Read our article on finding an online therapist in Toronto to learn more.
How Should I Prepare for my First Online Therapy Appointment?
When preparing for your first therapy appointment, it can be helpful to write down why you’re seeking therapy, past experiences you’d like to explore in the therapy process, and your goals after attending therapy.
Having a list can help you not get overwhelmed when your therapist asks you to explain why you’re seeking therapy.
Before your first session, check which video platform your therapist uses and whether you need to create an account to log into your session.
Make sure you have a quiet place where you can speak freely. If you live with other people, try scheduling your therapy sessions at a time when nobody else is home.
If this isn’t possible, there’s no harm in doing a therapy session wherever you can find the most privacy – whether that’s in your car in an empty parking lot or your basement bathroom.
No matter where you decide to do your therapy session, make sure to have a stable internet connection. Many online therapy platforms allow you to test your internet, audio, and video settings before you begin your session.
Make the environment as comfortable as possible, and don’t forget to bring:
- A notebook and pen
- Other things that make you feel comfortable, such as a stress ball or something to fidget with
Next Steps for Beginning Online Therapy
After reading this article, you know how online therapy works, how to know if it’s the right fit for you, and how to prepare for your first therapy session.
Here at KMA Therapy, our dynamic team of therapists offers both online and in-person sessions.
Our therapy process begins with a 50-minute introductory appointment to help you find the best therapist for you and customize a plan to achieve your therapy goals. If you still have questions about what therapy will look like for you, this is a great place to discuss them with one of our specialized intake therapists.
If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, read these articles to learn more about online therapy:
- If you’re wondering how effective online therapy is, read: Is Online Psychotherapy Effective?
- If you’re interested in therapy apps, read: In-Person Therapy vs Therapy App: Which is Right for Me?
- If you want to know more about the perks of online therapy, read: What are the Benefits of Online Therapy?