Taking that first step to schedule a therapy session can be both intimidating and scary. Having some fears and anxiousness about beginning counseling is completely normal. New clients often ask questions like: Will I like my therapist? Will I feel comfortable during the session? Will counseling actually help? If you decide to do online sessions, you may have a whole new set of questions: How do I log in for an online appointment? Will it be strange to talk to someone through a screen? Will the counseling be as effective as an in-person session?
In many cases, we have found online counseling to be equally as effective as in-person sessions. Often clients say they are concerned that it will be uncomfortable for them, but the fact is, most clients return to us saying it was easier than expected. Clients have also said they feel like they went to our office, even though they are talking to us from the comfort of their own home. Being in your own, personal space during a session creates a sense of safety and vulnerability, which speeds along the therapeutic process. We have even found that some clients actually prefer virtual sessions over coming to the office.
Because we know that scheduling an online appointment may be intimidating, we created a simple step by step guide to make you feel more at ease. We are also available to walk you through each step if you get stuck. Here is your guide for scheduling an online therapy appointment.
- Call our office – One of our friendly staff members will answer your call. We will get to know you by asking questions to find out what your current needs are and what your goals for counseling may be. Though many individuals are nervous to call the office, research shows that when people take that first step and actually schedule an initial therapy session, they immediately experience a 10% improvement in their emotional state. The fact that help and hope are on the way, brings a big sense of relief to many people. Once we gather basic information, we will help you determine which therapist will be the best fit for you. We have multiple counselors with different specializations so that we can meet the clinical needs of our clients. Once we determine who you will work with, we will set a time and date for your first appointment.
- Learn more about us – Once your counseling session has been scheduled, you will receive a link to fill out the new client paperwork. This paperwork can all be filled out electronically and submitted back to us through your client portal. You do not have to print a thing! The paperwork will also contain the web address link to your virtual session, so you will know exactly how to access your session when it is time. If you have any issues accessing your paperwork, you can call our office, and we are happy to walk you through the process over the phone.
- Begin your session – At the scheduled time for your appointment, you will click the web address link from your paperwork. You will be asked to give your name and allow the program to access your mic and camera. You simply follow those prompts. This will take you to your session where your therapist will be there to meet you. The primary virtual platform that we use for sessions is both HIPPA compliant and secure, so you can be put at ease that your session is completely confidential. If you have any trouble accessing your session or have any technical issues logging into it, you will call your therapist directly at the number provided for you in the new client paperwork. Your therapist can then help you get logged into the session.
- Complete your therapy session – After meeting your therapist in the online session room, you will finish out your initial counseling session. The first counseling session, or intake session, will be a time for you and your therapist to get to know each other and discuss the issues that you are facing, as well as your goals for therapy. Our clients tell us that they usually leave their first session feeling both excited and hopeful about their counseling journey and the progress that they will make.
- Schedule your next appointment –At the end of your therapy session, you and your therapist will discuss a consistent meeting time for your following appointments.
Many of our clients consider online therapy over in-person therapy for a number of reasons. For some, online sessions allow them to have regular therapy appointments without the fear of seeing someone they know in or around the office. Others prefer online therapy due to travel, health issues, or convenience. We hope that you will consider online counseling as an option. If you have questions about the process or would like information on scheduling, please contact us at 912-319-5552. We would love to help you get started!