The world is moving more towards online. Shopping, socializing, and now therapy are all done from the comfort and safety of our homes. Some people are already comfortable with it, and the rest of us are being forced to get used to it as a result of the pandemic. Most therapists are now offering therapy online (also known as video therapy or teletherapy), but does it really work? (I’ll give you the short answer – YES!)
Concerns about Video Therapy
It’s important to take a moment to acknowledge some concerns you may have about teletherapy. Using new technology can be uncomfortable. Perhaps you feel that there’s a lack of human connection when you’re not face-to-face with your therapist. Or maybe you’re worried about a lack of privacy and don’t have a safe, quiet space to talk in your own home. The longer we’re in this pandemic, the more these concerns become less prevalent or completely diminished.
Benefits of Teletherapy
At the start of the pandemic, many therapists were also figuring out the best way to provide online therapy while complying with HIPAA policies. As we have become more aware of different ways to offer safe and secure video therapy, and as we are more confident in our own abilities to use new technology, you can be sure that your conversations are private and confidential.
CREATING A SANCTUARY AT HOME
When it comes to creating a safe space, doing therapy from home gives you the opportunity to create the safe space yourself. It forces you to prioritize your self-care. You can create and find a safe sanctuary for yourself at home. Dedicate a room (or corner of a room) to peace and serenity, and do therapy from there. If you really can’t find a quiet, private space at home (perhaps you have kids, roommates, or it’s noisy where you live), think outside the box. “Meet” with your therapist from your car or perhaps a garden. You can be flexible with where you hold your sessions.
One of the best things about online therapy is that it saves time on commuting. You can schedule meetings and therapy back to back. Hop on and hop off quickly so you can make last minute appointments and squeeze in this time for yourself.
Make therapy part of your self-care routine. You can schedule time to decompress after your session. Rather than jumping into your car to run off to the next thing, you now have a bit of extra time to unwind from the session. Give yourself permission to schedule even more time for self-care. Decompress after your session, reflect on what was said, go for a walk, meditate, drink tea in peace. The flexibility of video sessions gives you more time for YOURSELF – not just to go back to your hectic schedule.
You might be thinking that this is a negative aspect of video therapy, but seeing your therapist online still gives you that human connection – it’s not taken away at all. You get used to the eye contact through the camera, you can still see each other’s faces (not like when you have to wear a mask in-person), you can still see each other’s emotional expressions, and it’s more comfortable than wearing a mask. Both therapists and clients have shown that there’s still a good level of human connection.
Many people are more comfortable and relaxed with being in their own home. Because of that, clients are more prone to show more emotion and less held back from feeling and expressing their emotions. People who struggle with leaving their home now find it even easier to get the support they need. Plus, you don’t have to change out of your pajamas!
Tech problems can still occur – we’re not immune to them – but those challenges allow for problem solving. It gives you and your therapist the opportunity to learn to work through problems. If all else fails, we have the phone. Learning how to use new technology and dealing with issues teaches us patience, quick problem solving, learning how to deal with difficult situations, and being flexible. When we learn to deal with tech issues, it can teach us larger lessons about life and overcoming challenges.
When you have to travel to see your therapist, your choices are limited by physical proximity. Teletherapy allows you to see any therapist licensed in your state. So if you are in another part of the state, you can still have the session. Even if your therapist is in another state, as long as they are licensed in your state they can provide you therapy. If you’re sick (whether it’s a cold or Covid), but feel well enough to go to therapy, you can still have your session without the risk of harming others. Teletherapy creates continuity and less interruptions of treatment.
Ready to Start Online Therapy?
Teletherapy has made access to mental health care so much easier. By now you should be convinced that video therapy really does work. I am licensed in both New York and Florida, and help adults who are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or drug and alcohol addiction. If you have questions about me or teletherapy, I offer a free 10-minute phone consultation for new clients. Take that first step and reach out for support. Use the button below to message Dr. Heather Violante online or call (954) 391-5305 (EXT. 8).