Nowadays online therapy has become the norm. After work, people are turning on their computers and sitting on their own couches to decompress with a trusted professional. Many people who are new to online therapy, or therapy in general don’t know what to expect. This fear of the unknown can create some anticipatory anxiety before the first session which is completely normal. Sometimes, therapists get anxiety as well! There are several things to expect when you are having a virtual therapy session for the first time:
- If it feels “awkward” that is probably a combination of meeting an individual through a computer screen in addition to your own anxiety. Once the ball gets rolling, it should start to feel better and you should feel more at ease. Sometimes it takes a few sessions to really feel comfortable opening up to your therapist.
- The point of therapy is to talk about what is on your mind, so if you feel uncomfortable, bring it up! It might start a whole new conversation leading you in a direction you never thought you would go.
- Your therapist is going to ask you a lot of questions! He or she is just trying to get to know you better. While some therapists do it better than others, the general idea is to get a complete picture of who you are as a person.
- Silence will happen. Silence is uncomfortable. Silence is important because it allows you the space to process your thoughts. If, on the other hand, you feel as if there are birds chirping, speak up! Talk to your therapist about how you feel there is too much silence. Every action or reaction that happens in therapy represents a microcosm of a patient’s real world.
- Remember to create a relaxing environment free of distractions. For some, this might mean slipping away from a roommate for an hour or finding a quiet nook in a coffee shop, everyone has different levels of comfort and privacy.