With the growing use of technology, virtual communication has made its way into every aspect of people’s lives – including counselling. And while telehealth counselling has done wonders for those wanting to get help but being unable to do so in person, it does not come without its own set of potential mistakes. But before we get into what they are and how to avoid them, let’s take a look at what telehealth counselling is.
Telehealth Counselling: What is it?
Telehealth counselling allows individuals to seek the help of a certified mental health counsellor virtually, either through phone or video call, as they guide you on how to manoeuvre difficult times.
So, now that you know what telehealth counselling consists of, let’s take a look at some common mistakes in the field and what you can do to avoid them!
Recognizing and Avoiding the Mistakes of Telehealth Therapy
No area is free from mistakes, and telehealth counselling is no exception. But if you’re careful and know how to guide your way, then you can steer clear of these hurdles and have a positive telehealth experience!
Here are some of the most common telehealth counselling mistakes and how you can avoid them:
1. Being Defeated by the Tech
While technology may be man’s new best friend, it can also be tricky and it can just as easily get the better of us. Clients often make the mistake of leaving the technology aspect to just before their appointment, which then leaves them scrambling to get everything working and ends up stressing them out – something you definitely don’t want happening before a counselling session.
An easy way to avoid this that doesn’t call for a lot of preparation is to simply extend your telehealth counselling session in your schedule by 15 minutes. Start by using these first 15 minutes to get familiar with your device and video conference software, as well as to check your internet connection. And then by the time your counsellor logs on, you’ll be all set!
2. Choosing the Wrong Place
Location is everything when it comes to counselling, and just like at an in-person session the counsellor’s office is designed to be calm and relaxing, your choice of place for your virtual session should imitate that. Often, clients end up attending their telehealth counselling sessions without giving much thought to their surroundings, and that is where things can go wrong.
A rule to stick by is to seat yourself in a place that is private or quiet – an ideal setting would be a room that you have all to yourself, or perhaps even a sparsely populated garden or park. Good lighting will also go a long way as off-beat lighting often heightens nervousness and low feelings, making it harder for you to make significant ground.
All in all, the place you choose should be free from distractions and comforting. Given that, it can really be any place that you want!
3. Not Asking the Right Questions
Any patient in any counselling situation should be aware that it is their right to ask questions, no matter what those questions may be. However, when clients make the switch from in-person to telehealth counselling, they more often than not skip over asking questions that may be relevant to this new situation. This can lead to confusion down the line and a possible feeling of insecurity if the client is not well-informed.
To avoid this, clients should do some research beforehand. Search up on the basics of telehealth counselling and jot down any questions that may arise. Once you start your session, address your concerns and ensure that you are satisfied before moving on. Some key questions that patients can ask are about privacy, recording, and any procedural differences.
So, once you’re clear on these telehealth counselling mistakes and learn how to avoid them, it should be smoother sailing!
Vision Counselling and Psychology offers telehealth counselling and telehealth psychology appointments to clients. Platforms including telephone counselling, zoom, Skype, Facetime and Whatsapp have all been utilised since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic allowing counselling to continue. Telehealth appointments can be booked online anytime with the therapist of your choice.