The key to successfully working with an online therapist is ensuring that your therapist and you are on the same page when it comes to your goals, needs and expectations when it comes to therapy.
After all, there are many different types of therapy available, and even within these subsets, there are different philosophies and techniques that often work better for some people than for others.
As such, the best first step when you talk to your therapist for the first time is to get to know how they can work with you and ensure you have the most productive experience with the time you have with your therapist.
Here are some of the questions to ask your therapist either at your first session or via correspondence before the first session.
How Will The Session Look?
Different therapy types make a completely different use of the time you have with your therapist, and getting the most out of the treatment requires a buy-in to the techniques, process and general principles of the type of therapy in question.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, mindfulness-based therapies and guided self-help all work in very different ways and so your sessions will look fundamentally different.
Do some initial research on the different therapies and do not be afraid to ask your therapist for more information.
Have You Worked With Issues Like Mine Before?
This question is very important and not just because there is comfort in knowing that your experiences are not unique to you.
The therapists you are going to come across will be fully qualified in their therapy type and are capable of treating you. However, therapists who have experience in treating similar concerns provide extra insight and can help you set realistic goals for your treatment.
What Are Your Expectations For Me?
Therapy is a two-way process, and the more you collaborate and involve yourself in the treatment process, the better your outcomes will be and the closer you will get to your goals.
Different therapy types have different levels of commitment and expectations. Some will have assignments to complete outside of sessions, such as tasks to undertake or sheets to fill out. Others simply ask you to be willing and ready to open up to them.
Knowing what is expected of you ahead of time will enable you to be prepared for what lies ahead on your journey.