I remember discovering Google Earth in high school (I just dated myself, oops!). The first place I went was my home address because I am not as creative as I’d like to believe.
Since the seemingly endless pandemic began, one common theme in a lot of my sessions is grief about canceled trips. At first, I tried putting up virtual backgrounds from that location, but then I remembered how detailed the images on Google Earth are.
This works for so many different prompts – “Where was your vacation going to be?” “Where would you go if you could go anywhere right now?” “What’s your favorite spot in the world?” I share my screen, input the address, and the camera zooms in from space to take us there.
It’s like a real life visualization, which can come in handy with clients who can’t picture images in their minds. It can be a mindfulness or self-regulation exercise, or it can get some great conversation going about memories or goals.
I never would have had a client go on Google Earth during an in-person session, so this is a great example of how telehealth has opened me up to new activities that have been really therapeutic for my clients.