7 TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST ONLINE APPOINTMENT
First online appointment? New to telehealth? If this is your first appointment with a Psychologist, it’s likely you are feeling some relief, or perhaps motivated and excited to get started, or perhaps you feel a little apprehensive about what is involved?
There is no right or wrong way to feel – we know our clients experience a wide mix of feelings, particularly when they may not have seen a psychologist before, and they feel unsure about what to expect.
If you came in person, you’d find comfortable, spacious, bright, modern and friendly consulting rooms. You’d be greeted warmly, with a cafe downstairs if you want to pick up a coffee. But what is it like when you join us online?
What happens in a Psychology appointment? Is it different online when compared to face to face? As therapists, we think the most important thing, however your meet us, is the opportunity to get to know you, and for you to get comfortable and confident with us.
We know that all Psychologists are different, and that finding the right Psychologist is an important part of therapy in itself. We all do therapy a little differently. At Mindworx Psychology, the Psychologists on our team are experienced, with families of their own. We’ve lived through our own ups and downs, and we are going through the pandemic with you too. A passion for excellence, for treatments that work, and for helping others underpins our work, allowing you to feel confident that you are in the right hands.
Most of all, it’s important to know therapy is a team effort, and not something we will do to you. It’s much more than ‘talking through’ issues. Counselling is a skill that we use, but it’s not what we do. Therapy will typically involve a range of tools and treatments, that we select to target your exact needs. With that in mind, our team of Psychologist have put together some tips for your first appointment.
FIRST APPOINTMENT TIPS – FOR TELEHEALTH
Tip 1. Find a quiet spot. Before the appointment we will send you a link. There are no downloads, no accounts to set up. We use secure, end to end encrypted systems designed for health. Before you get to the session, think about whether you want to connect on your phone or laptop. Can you find a quiet spot, away from interruptions? Bring a notepad, and a pen. We do have note sharing and screen sharing and you can download and save the notes we might create together – but we also know writing or doodling can help you to think. Know how to describe “what’s wrong,”. Perhaps write down some words to describe your feelings about your problem. One helpful way to prepare is to write down the reasons you’re seeking help. Make a list and then read it out loud. Hearing yourself say it a few times will help you describe things more clearly.
Tip 2. Think about what you want to achieve. The first session with us is a perfect opportunity to discuss your goals. Many of our clients feel stuck in the problem and setting goals is important. Take some time to think about what you would like to be able to do. This will help you get the maximum benefit from therapy.
Tip 3. Tell us what you like. Our telehealth platform has lots of features, but if you prefer a full screen of our face, just tell us. Is your Psychologist so close it feels overwhelming? Tell us. Is the font size on the shared worksheet hard to read? Tell us. We like to think we know what works, but we might not know what works best for you. We love feedback. We want to make your sessions feel as comfortable as possible.
Tip 4. Think about childcare. Do you need some time to speak privately? Is your child able to wait for you, and is your child comfortable waiting independently so you can give your attention to the call? When children are involved we often suggest joining on more than one device, or to book a first ‘parent only’ session to allow you to talk freely about any fears and concerns regarding your child. A parent session is our opportunity to focus on obtaining a full history, gather an understanding of the problem across different environments, and discuss the parent’s goals with regards treatment.
Tip 5. Please ask questions, and make notes. The more you understand about different types of therapy, the more comfortable you’ll be. Therapy is confidential, but it’s not mysterious, and we’ll be working together to help you find solutions for your problems.Don’t be afraid to ask questions about therapy, or tell us about things you have tried in the past that haven’t worked. You are the expert on you!
Tip 6. Remember that we are on your team. Even if you can’t find words for what is wrong, and even if you don’t know what’s causing the problem, we will be able to help you. This is our specialist area. Our role encompasses both assessment and treatment, and our team are skilled at both. Following your assessment session we will probably have an idea of how many sessions you will require. Some clients require only a few sessions to feel better or learn strategies and skills to overcome the problems they are seeking help for. Others join us for many sessions. There is no right or wrong, only what is most helpful for you.
Tip 7. Send us any paperwork you need or want us to see. Are you planning to claim a Medicare or Private Health Fund rebate? Have you been referred by an insurer? You can read general information on referrals and rebates here. We are happy to receive scanned copies of previous assessments, school reports etc. These can be sent through to our reception team, their contact details are found on your confirmation email. You can also share documents to us during the video call.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to call us on 83553634. We look forward to meeting you soon.