Online Anxiety Treatment? A Chicago therapist shares 3 tips for making the most out of your sessions
Updated: May 28, 2020
At this point a huge portion of our communication happens online. Our classes are online, our work is online. Even dating, social gatherings, and holiday celebrations have been moved online in the last few months.
What makes online therapy for anxiety different?
Well, it’s not exactly that attending anxiety treatment online is different from other forms of online communication. The same basic components are there. The technology you use isn't that different from use the technology you already use for Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Teams. You’ll talk to a trained therapist who is able to help you work through your stress, worry, and anxiety. You'll want more privacy for a therapy discussion than you might want when you talk to a friend or family member. And of course the subject matter is different.
It is a change from the in person counseling you might be used to. For instance, there’s no commute to my counseling office. You can stay sitting cross legged on your couch at home or sitting at your desk at the office. Of course, the likelihood of being interrupted by a cat, dog, or child is significantly higher. And there's always a chance technology problems could crop up.
But overall, counseling online can be a very positive experience for most clients!
So, why might it seem so odd to do video therapy, or telehealth, instead of traditional in-person counseling? And, why might it actually be necessary?
Picture it. You’re running around trying to keep everyone occupied, entertained, educated, and on schedule. You’re trying to meet deadlines from your boss. Also, you have to arrange for the groceries to be delivered at a certain time. Plus, you’re not even really sure what day it is. Then, you get a reminder on your watch that your online therapy session begins in 5 minutes. What?! How are you supposed to sit and talk with someone about your anxiety right now? You’re in the middle of the chaos. This is NOT the time.
Or, is it? Maybe this is exactly what you need to re-group. Ground yourself. Re-focus. Actually deal with all of this anxious nonsense while it’s fresh. While you have the opportunity to put these strategies into practice right away. Isn’t that why you started therapy in the first place?
Sounds logical, of course. But, let’s be honest. This doesn’t make the reality we’re dealing with any easier to deal with. So, that’s why we’ve come up with some concrete strategies to help you make the most out of your online therapy session for anxiety, worry, and stress. Still skeptical? Give it a try. It might be just what you need to keep your anxiety treatment on-track.
Tip #1: “Warm-up” before your session.
Give yourself a 15-minute cushion between whatever you are doing before therapy, and your actual therapy session. This is a good time to go to the bathroom. Make a cup of tea. Make sure your space is clear of distractions. Get your kids entertained with something. Ensure your technology is all set (those software updates have the worst timing, right?). And, that you are comfortable with your setup.
Tip #2: Have a piece of paper and a pen nearby.
Not to take diligent notes. But, to jot down any new insights that come up you'd like to refer to later. Or, to jot down any thoughts that come up to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Tip #3: Give yourself a “cool-down” after therapy.
Build in a few minutes after your session to jot down your thoughts and reactions. Take a few deep breaths. Write down your key takeaways or “to-dos” so you don’t get overwhelmed by your environment and lose track of these important items. Then, take a deep breath and go back to your life. You can do this.
This is exactly the time to be in therapy for anxiety, stress, and worry.
There are so many unknowns right now. The things we are thinking about and fearful of are all around us. And, sometimes they’re invisible. Most notably right now, COVID 19 germs and every other uncertainty around us. So, this is the right time to be in therapy. Especially for anxiety. Let's get you feeling a little better, today.
Online Therapy for Couples & Individuals in Illinois:
The hope you are looking for is right here, from online counselors at our Chicago counseling practice. Phone sessions are also available if you need them as well. Our caring therapists are ready to help you manage your anxiety, stress, worry, and more through online therapy. To begin:
Hear back from a therapist within 24 hours (except on Sundays)
Feel more connected during this crisis.
You don't have to feel alone or isolated during this stressful time. Counseling can help.
More Therapy Services From Our Downtown Chicago Counseling Center
We are passionate about helping individuals and couples feel connected to others and present in their lives. With online therapy in Illinois, you can and will become better than ever before. Our framework for compassionate communication helps couples in all stages of a relationship. We can help with premarital counseling, couples therapy, poly, and open relationship counseling and marriage counseling. Furthermore, if you have experienced infidelity, we offer divorce discernment therapy and affair recovery counseling. Our skilled therapists also offer anxiety treatment and depression therapy in our downtown Chicago psychotherapy office. We look forward to helping you become the best version of yourself you can be.