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Home / Advice / Counselling / Preparing for my first online therapy session

Preparing for my first online therapy session

By: Daiva Kaminskaite

Updated: 07 August 2020

Preparing for my first online therapy session

Preparing for my first online therapy session

By Daiva Kaminskaite

Many aspects of our professional and personal lives have moved to online platforms during recent months. So too has mental health support. For some of us, meeting a therapist online will feel like a seamless transition and for others, this new experience can be a big adjustment.

Maybe you are asking yourself . . . 

Will it feel like just another online meeting? Will I be able to open up?  Do I need to deal with downloading even more applications? How do I know if this technology will work? I don’t have a laptop; will it work on my phone? I don’t like looking at myself on the screen; will I be able to adjust the view?

Different variations of these questions and worries can really take up a lot of your attention, which is understandable. Here are a few tips on what you might expect and how you can prepare for your first online therapy session:

Choose the right Time and Place for You:

- pick the time of the day when you feel most present

- if there are other people living with you, you might consider the best time of the day when it is most quiet in your house or apartment

- if you are at home, choose a room or a space that can provide maximum privacy, where you can be sure that nobody will overhear you or walk in

 - it is okay to be creative — if the house is too busy, you can sit in the car or in the back garden

- check if the place where you plan to sit feels comfortable, and make sure there is sufficient light as it is really important for you and your therapist to be able to see each other clearly.


Test and Prepare your Device

- MyMind provides an essential and a very user-friendly Test My Device task that automatically runs the test for you so you can join an online session. There is a very helpful FAQs section if you need more details. Both of these resources can be accessed from your MyMind profile and are your first ‘go to’ places if you want to avoid worries about technical aspects of your session.

- If you are having a phone session, make sure your phone is fully charged. It might be a good idea to have a phone charger nearby in case your battery drains fast.

- It is advisable to use a headset as the sound quality is better and it helps ensure your confidentiality if there are others in the house.

- Laptop or desktop is more practical than phone or tablet, because you do not need to hold the device and they usually have better video/audio resolution. If you are using a phone or tablet, place the device in a way that you do not need to hold it, as your hand will get tired.


What can I expect in my first online session?

The therapist will start the session at the chosen time. In case there are any technical hiccups, the therapist will firstly contact you on chat, part of the MyMind system. You can also use the chat to let the therapist know if there are any issues at the time of joining the session.

At the start of the session, your therapist will provide guidance regarding some ‘house-keeping’ issues such as possible interruptions, internet failure, laptop/phone battery failure, etc.

It might feel a bit awkward to suddenly see a complete stranger appearing on your screen. That is absolutely normal. During face to face appointments you would have time to meet and greet each other in the waiting room, go up to the designated room and settle in. That experience is different online as you are both instantly facing each other. Give yourself permission to allow and acknowledge any reactions you might have. Your therapist will be very familiar with those reactions and will help you to feel more at ease. By the way, all therapists had to have an experience of the first online appointment as well.

Unlike face to face appointments, you will be able to see yourself and the therapist on the screen. If you are feeling self-conscious, adjust the view where you can see only the therapist. It is important to feel comfortable.

Lastly, take some time before and after your first online session. In the same way that you would give yourself time to get to the office, find the place and orient yourself, allow for the same to happen even when you are in your own space.  As there is no physical transition when you leave the building after the appointment and have time to return to work or home, it is very important to allow yourself some quiet time after the session before you go back to your daily routines.

Most of all, remember that this time is for you and it will be beneficial for you to allow yourself to relax and know that the therapist is here to help you and put you at your ease. 


Gloria Tolongo Psychotherapist Location: Online

Approach: Gestalt Therapy , Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) , Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy , Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Works with: Children & Adolescents , Individual Session , Couples

Specialities: Addiction , Anxiety , Depression , Relationship issues , Self-Esteem , Trauma , Work Issues, Work/Life balance

Next avaialble appointment: 18:00 04 March 2024

Brenda Pedrosa Psychologist Location: Online

Approach: Other , Systemic & Family Therapy , Mindfulness

Works with: Individual Session , Couples , Children & Adolescents , Extended couples session

Specialities: Addiction , Anger , Anxiety , Depression , Relationship issues , Self-Esteem , Trauma

Next avaialble appointment: 10:00 04 March 2024

Greta Connolly Psychotherapist Location: Cork

Approach: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) , Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy , Mindfulness , Person-Centred Therapy

Works with: Individual Session

Specialities: Anger , Anxiety , Bereavement / Loss , Depression , Personal Development , Relationship issues , Self Care , Self-Esteem , Work Issues, Work/Life balance

Next avaialble appointment: 15:00 04 March 2024


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