Home Forums Mental Health Counselors Strategies for getting students to open up during online counseling sessions

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    Students are so comfortable with technology that sometimes they feel more at ease opening up online, rather than being at an onsite clinic. What has been your experience? What strategies do you think work best to help students feel comfortable in teletherapy?



    I have had GREAT connections with students in the teletherapy setting. They seemed to open up more easily, I think because they got to show me some of their favorite games and sites, and we incorporated those into the sessions.



    Sometimes talking to a therapist online (instead of onsite) can reduce the inherent pressure the student feels, so that they can feel more comfortable opening up.



    I think talking about shared interests (like art, pets, food, etc.) can really help students to feel more at ease. That is true in any setting, including teletherapy.



    I completely agree, Sara! Especially about pets. I have found that sharing my dogs and their tricks are a GREAT way to break the ice and build rapport. Pets lead to a great, non-invasive way to ask questions about interests, too.

    I have also found that using filters to make funny faces on myself (way before asking the student to try the same) has been a good way to show them I’m willing to have fun and relieve a little bit of pressure. Once they’re comfortable, using a filter to ask them, “how do you think a tiger would feel if…” has been a great way to ease into topics without directly asking.

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