Preparing for Telehealth: Setting up a Telehealth space for yourself at home, work, in your car, or somewhere in nature.
Preparing your headspace for therapy requires a process of tuning into yourself. This process can start at different times for different people; when you see your appointment in the diary, the night before your session, as you travel to the session, or when you enter the Little Window space. Spending time with our Client Support Team, getting settled into the waiting room, sipping a cup of tea, or reading a book while you are waiting for your session, are all transition rituals to help you to move into a ‘zone’ we like to call the ‘Therapy Bubble’.
This space created by you and with your therapist over time, is a place of wellbeing, which requires ongoing protection, privacy, and containment. The physical environment plays a big role in helping individuals to settle into this zone, and to feel like they are separated from the outside world. Transitioning over to Telehealth requires us (therapists and clients) to continue to set up a therapy bubble, which protects your privacy, and sense of safety in other areas outside of Little Window’s physical space.
Whether your set up is at home, work, in your car, or somewhere in nature, it can help to practice similar transition rituals before and after your session that you would for a face-to-face appointment.
Setting up a therapy bubble for yourself or your child requires forward planning, and it is helpful to create some mindful physical and emotional space before and after sessions to transition in and out of your home or work environment.
Below are some tips for how to set up your therapy bubble and prepare for your Telehealth sessions:
- If you use headphones for your session, the therapy experience can feel more intimate and can help to minimise distraction from the world around you.
- Check your wi-fi connection, data allowance, and download any software needed before your session.
- Try a practice call to friends and family so that you can check that the connection, audio, and visual components are working.
- If you’re doing a video session, have your phone with you too in case there are tech issues and you need to switch to a phone session.
- Ensure that your device has full battery, and/or a charger is easily accessible.
- Contact our client support team on (07) 3420 0924 for any questions or assistance with your set up and/or if you are experiencing difficulties with contacting your therapist at the time of your appointment.
- Choose a quiet, well-lit space in which you feel you have privacy, and that you feel comfortable and relaxed in.
- Wear some comfy clothes. PJs are great too.
- Have a cup of tea or nourishing drink with you, Little Window style, or a glass/bottle of water.
- Keep a box/pack of tissues nearby.
- Pets are welcome and can be soothing to have with you during your therapy session.
- You can also have a blanket or cushion with you.
- Have something calming to look at, like a candle, picture or plant.
- A notebook and pen might come in handy.
Leading up to the session
- “Arrive” for your session early, so that you can settle in and not feel flustered trying to get online. Take a few quiet moments to tune into your therapy bubble after you have set up your environment.
- In assisting children to set up for their therapy session, you can create a safe space by using calm lighting, having cushions, soft toys, or a blanket close by, setting up paper and colouring pencils, and providing water or a hot chocolate. Ensure there are minimal disruptions such as keeping siblings or other technological devices away.
After the session
- After the session, there is a processing or ‘winding down’ time that people can benefit from. If you decide to have your session at home, give yourself plenty of time afterwards to be in your own space without having to step out and interact with anybody at home.
- To help transition out of therapy and before having to interact with others, you can spend at least 10 minutes in the privacy of your room playing relaxing music, painting, journaling, or sitting quietly to process the session.
- For children who have finished their therapy session, allow them some time afterwards to be on their own with a quiet activity. Refrain from asking them straight away about their session, and instead give them space while attending to their needs such as checking if they are hungry or if they want 10 minutes to themselves before joining in with the family with whatever activity is happening at home.
Moving to Telehealth
Change and transition can be tricky. Many of us find counselling to be soothing because of the routine and ritual around going to the same place and experiencing the same sensory elements at your place of therapy. We are creatures of habit. But as humans, we are also resilient and adaptable. Online appointments will start to feel more “normal” as time goes on, and what will keep you anchored through it all, is your constant – the relationship you have with your therapist.
Authors: Christina Leggett & Thania Siauw.