Telemental health or teletherapy provides couples seeking therapy with a convenient solution to get the help they need. This option accommodates people with busy schedules, promotes more privacy, and supports partners who may be geographically apart. Since teletherapy has its unique challenges, couples must prepare adequately for a successful experience. Here is a telemental health guide for couples therapy:
1. Get the Necessary Equipment
Since you’ll not be meeting in person with your therapist, you’ll need various tools to facilitate your session. A laptop or computer is more suitable for a teletherapy session because it provides a larger screen, allowing your therapist to observe more of your non-verbal communication. You can use your phone as a backup. Charge your devices fully or plug them in to prevent interruptions. Stable internet access is another requirement to avoid lags or buffering. You may also require headphones to prevent echoes and block others from hearing your conversation. You may need only one setup or two depending on how you and your partner will be attending the session.
2. Discuss Logistics Beforehand
All involved parties should agree on the most suitable platform for the telemental health sessions. Your therapist may provide you and your partner with an invitation link or a code if they are using video conferencing software, such as Skype or Zoom. Other platforms may be available depending on your therapist’s preferences. Discuss the frequency of sessions, fees, and other relevant information. Make sure that both you and your partner understand these details. When you are both on the same page, it can help you feel more prepared for therapy and reduce misunderstandings. If you have any doubts or questions, seek clarification from your therapist to prevent confusion.
3. Set Up a Suitable Space
The environment you choose to conduct the sessions can impact the therapy’s outcome. It should be a secure, private place that offers minimal distractions. It could be a room in your home not frequented by guests, a corner of the library, or another familiar place. The space should have enough light so the therapist can see both your and your partner’s facial expressions and body language. You may prefer an area close to the window or use artificial light sources. If you live with other people, inform them beforehand of your meeting and ask them to respect your privacy.
4. Set Some Ground Rules
You and your partner should agree on some unspoken rules before you start the session for a productive conversation. Decide how best to handle interruptions, distractions, and disagreements. You could agree not to talk over each other and wait turns before responding. You may also use non-verbal cues, such as raising a hand when one of you wants to say something instead of interrupting. Establishing ground rules can help you stay on track and address the issues without getting off-topic.
5. Communicate Your Goals to Your Therapist
Before you start the session, share your expectations with your therapist. Let them know what you hope to gain from the sessions and any areas of your relationship that need work. Both parties could write a list of issues, worries, and expectations for therapy. That can help your therapist understand your needs and give personalized advice. Be open and honest with your therapist and provide details they can use to understand the dynamics of your relationship. Even if it feels uncomfortable, reveal any issues you may be struggling with to get meaningful help.
6. Prioritize Sessions
Couples must be committed to their therapy for it to work. A mistake some people may make is thinking teletherapy is not as serious as in-person sessions. Treat it with the same respect as a regular session, and honor the appointments. When conflicts arise, find a way to rearrange your schedule or reschedule the appointment as soon as possible. That way, you can keep the conversations on track and work toward addressing the issues more efficiently.
7. Keep an Open Mind
Telemental health for couples therapy can be beneficial, but both parties should approach it open-mindedly. Be ready to try your therapist’s new strategies and prepare for change. Consider the advice you receive, even if it’s initially difficult to accept. Trying different strategies can help you and your partner understand each other better and develop healthier relationships. Be honest with yourself and your partner, and accept responsibility for your actions. That can help you get the most out of telemental health for couples therapy.
Consider Telemental Health Today
This guide can help you get the most out of telemental health for couples therapy. It can be a valuable tool for getting meaningful help, so take it seriously and be willing to put in the effort. Be patient with yourself and your partner as you progress toward achieving your therapy goals. It can be an enriching experience that helps you build a strong relationship with your partner.