Online Therapy

Connection at your convenience (sans bra)

So, you want to work with me, but maybe you live in the Bay Area, the Central Coast, or down south in San Diego – no problem.

Or maybe you live relatively close to my office; but let’s be honest, that doesn’t mean much if you must drive from my office during rush hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic in and around Los Angeles County.

Or maybe you want therapy to be extra convenient and meet during your lunch hour or from the comfort of your bedroom without worrying about putting on a bra – I get it.

Online therapy is the answer to all your problems and available to all residents in California. Call (909) 851-5522 to set up a consultation, and I will handle everything online.

How do you set up an online therapy session?

We will start with the risk-free 20-minute phone consultation to explore what brings you to therapy, what you hope to accomplish and make sure we are a good fit.

Then, we will move forward with scheduling. I’ll send some documents for you to fill out and sign electronically.

Next, we will select what type of online portal you prefer (popular ones currently are FaceTime and Zoom), and the payment can be made electronically with a digital wallet app (popular ones are currently Venmo, Paypal, and Zelle).

Here are some guidelines to follow:

If followed, online sessions can be made just as effective as face-to-face sessions.

First, make sure you have reliable WiFi, data, and/or signal. This is PARAMOUNT because, without it, the flow of the session will be interrupted. Therapy is all about being seen and heard, so this is a must.

Second, give yourself 5-10 minutes before the session starts to find a quiet place and have some time in the “waiting room.” This will help you gather your thoughts and ensure you are ready to start on time.

Third, find a good spot to sit for online sessions. Popular places for online sessions include the following:

  • Bedroom – with the door closed (you can put a DO NOT DISTURB sign up if needed).
  • Car – if your house is full of family or you want to meet during your lunch break, this is a great option for privacy. Make sure you are parked somewhere near reliable Internet or a good spot for data use.
  • The park – pack a nice blanket and settle into a quiet corner that’s tucked away. Again, be mindful of picking a spot with good service.
  • Backyard – close enough to home, so you can use the WiFi but also out of earshot from the fam, kids, or partner.
  • Home office – super convenient since you can take a break while working but still have privacy while your family is roaming about the house.
  • Bathtub – I have never actually seen this, but I’ve heard of young mothers whose only break from family is the solitude they receive in the restroom. Let’s try and see how it goes! Please note that being clothed would be necessary for telehealth.

Fourth, be flexible. Technology sometimes sucks, so you may have to endure dropped calls, frozen screens, or video delays. With our online sessions, there will be a Plan A, B, and C to ensure that the session continues despite interruptions. I, too, sometimes will switch the platform we are using within the first few minutes, especially if you or I notice a snag because we don’t want to tolerate that.

Finally, be adaptive. If you’d hoped to sit in your bedroom for sessions, but the connection is slow, take the week in between sessions to find a better place. Ask your parents, roommates, partner, or with whomever you live for support in making sure you are in an ideal space every week to get the most out of the session.

My advice is based on personal experience.

I’m from the Los Angeles area, and my therapist is in San Francisco. I wanted to work with someone who met my needs and provided the type of therapy that I knew would work best for me.

It just so happened that the therapist of my dreams has an office 411 miles away from me (Yes, I just googled it). With the option of online therapy, that distance is not even a problem. We meet weekly, I’m working on myself, and I get the support I need from someone who understands even though they are hundreds of miles away from me.

If you are wanting the same, give me a call to schedule an online session at (909) 851-5522 or email marissa@therapywithmarissa.com.