Telehealth? Teletherapy? Is this really a thing? Yes! Tele-therapy has become a recent primary form of communication between therapists and clients since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Online counseling now dominates a majority of psychotherapy services and for good reason! With recent quarantine laws, a host of new psychiatric conditions are on the rise. Alcohol use and alcoholism has seen a major uptick with individuals stuck at home. Trends of Seasonal Affective Disorder, something commonly only seen in winter months, appears to be on the rise as people stay inside in isolation. COVID-induced psychosis and social anxiety disorder has been on the rise due to the heightened stress levels that trigger distorted thinking. Anxiety and depression have seen steep spikes since the Coronavirus pandemic began. As a therapist, I often hear clients express fear about mask usage and clients ask, “Does wearing a mask help?” I have heard themes of hopelessness from numerous clients who feel that their fear and anxiety will never return to pre-COVID levels.
Online therapy is an incredible tool in which numerous HIPAA compliant platforms can be used (e.g., doxy.me, zoom, etc.). Various modalities can be done online including online relationship counseling, couples therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and insurance covers online therapy just as it does in-office!
Clients often have low-expectations when beginning online therapy and feel concerned that the client-therapist connection will not be the same. I have found that many clients end up preferring online counseling since they can attend appointments with simplicity without having to leave home. Some clients have even reported that they find it easier to open up about difficult topics to someone on a computer screen versus a live human directly in front of them.
If you have not tried it, give it a go! Many therapists are now offering this unique therapeutic setting and it is certainly worth taking advantage of the self-growth opportunity!