We all know how difficult this past year has been. Many people who have struggled mentally and emotionally are more open about their issues and getting help. With virtual therapy as a more available option, many of us are taking advantage for the first time. Virtual therapy has worked well for our clients, and can be either a telephone or video call. Here are three tips to keep in mind when you begin:
- Be open about who your therapist is. You may have a picture in your head about who your therapist is – gender, age, wears glasses, etc. but be open to anyone who specializes in what you’re looking for. No matter their characteristics, they have the education to do the work to support you.
- Set intentional space. When connecting virtually, it may be tempting to sandwich your session between other things, snack while talking, and check your phone when it buzzes. Think of your session as if you were in a therapist’s office. Silence your phone and consider blocking out a few minutes before and after your scheduled session to get in the right frame of mind and then process afterwards. Think about this as the time you’d typically walk/drive/bike to an in-person session! It’s also key to find a safe, quiet, and private space, so you are completely comfortable.
- Be honest. Therapy only works if you are completely honest. There no shame or embarrassment in what you are sharing with your therapist. The better they know the full and honest you, the more they can guide you towards a positive path of self-care and improvement.
At SHALVA, our free and confidential counseling for women who are experiencing and healing from abuse shifted to virtual due to the pandemic and it’s been a successful pivot. Check out two of our therapists in conversation during a Facebook Live on August 31st at 12pm where they’ll reflect on what the past year has been like for them and what they expect in the months ahead. Follow SHALVA on Facebook to see the live stream @shalvachicago.