When most people think of psychotherapy, they typically imagine sitting in a warm-colored office on a big cushioned couch and a clinician across from them asking, “How does that make you feel?” While this is not necessarily an inaccurate depiction of therapy, it is important to note that it is not the only outlet for mental health counseling in our day and age. Now imagine – you’re sitting on your own couch, in your own home, in your most comfortable attire while receiving the same service via video-chat – now, how does that make you feel? In times like these, the wonders of technology make this resource more accessible and can illustrate just how beneficial teletherapy or telepsychology can be. .

The Benefits & Effectiveness of Telepsychology 

While we normally receive mental health services face-to-face, meeting virtually can be just as effective. Traditionally, telehealth has been a great option for those geographically isolated or lacking adequate transportation. Now, telehealth services can benefit us during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not always easy to muster up the courage to seek mental health treatment, even when it is nearby and easy to attain. A person may think about it for a while, finally push themselves to go, and then come up with a myriad of reasons to talk themselves out of returning: trouble finding the office, the experience in the waiting room, or feeling disconnected from that particular clinician (Saedi Bocci, 2019). With telepsychology, these appointments are but a click away and eliminate many of these variables. Moreover, if you feel you do not mesh with one therapist, you can easily access another.

It is likely that many of you are now wondering just how effective virtual therapy can really be. Fortunately, the research on the effectiveness of telepsychology is very promising. Studies have shown that people can overcome a variety of problems with telepsychology such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and social fears (Barnett & Godine, 2013).

What to Expect From Therapy During COVID-19

Now, considering every one of us could use a little extra support right now, I encourage you to consider taking advantage of this resource while you are self-isolating. It is important to note that not every clinician utilizes the same modalities, and if I were to explain the schematics of each one within this article, you would likely be snoozing on your keyboard before making it to the end.

What I can tell you is about our approach to online therapy here at C.R.E.A.T.E. Outcomes Psychological Services. I want you to imagine yourself back on your couch, in your home, collaborating with a professional to develop a life plan that will guide you towards reaching your aspirations despite the uncertainties of now. Our therapists help you manage difficult feelings and experiences while guiding you towards a successful feature by creating what we call your Life Map.

Through the Life Map, you will experience the C.R.E.A.T.E. process. You will work with a therapist to collaborate and clarify what you want to accomplish in life – personally, relationally, and professionally. These goals can be short term or long term, and each goal will help you to look towards a future beyond the current circumstances. Your therapist will then recognize the ways you are already successfully working towards your dreams, then equip you with the tools to overcome any obstacles that get in the way of reaching those goals. An important part of this process is acknowledging you as you are growing. I know therapy is hard and sometimes it is difficult to know if you’re making progress. Your Life Map actually shows how you’re progressing because you and your therapist are tracking and evaluating your success along the way. Overall, the C.R.E.A.T.E. process ensures that you achieve the outcomes you desire for your health and wellness.

Why Now is the Time

Now is the time to treat ourselves with a little extra kindness and compassion. Globally, we are experiencing extraordinary changes in our daily lives. We are being told to stay home, cease from socializing face-to-face, and navigating the stresses of this “new normal.” This is unnerving and can be extremely scary for some, especially if they are grappling with the impact of the illness personally. Therapy is a safe space to express your concerns and equip yourself with new coping skills to manage these stressors. At C.R.E.A.T.E. Outcomes, we are offering both individual and group teletherapy. Group sessions are beneficial to many of us because it brings a sense of partnership and community to the table. It also presents us with a new support system in the midst of living in isolation. Whether it be individual therapy, group therapy, or both, I wholeheartedly encourage you to look into trying a telepsychology service today. Remember, you are living through a major event in history and you are not alone in this journey. You deserve to feel more at peace, have meaningful relationships, and feel fulfilled on your career path.

 

References

Barnett, J.E. & Godine, N. (2013, October). The use of telepsychology in clinical practice:
benefits, effectiveness, and issues to consider. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 3(4). Retrieved March 25, 2020, from
https://go-gale-com.proxy.library.stonybrook.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA425773217&v=2.1&u=sunysb&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

Saedi Bocci, G. (2019, January 28). 14 Benefits of Teletherapy for Clients. Retrieved March 23,
2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/millennial-media/201901/14-benefits-teletherapy-clients

About the Author:

Rebecca Roberts, LMSW, helps adolescents and adults manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and/or trauma in a safe and compassionate environment. She enjoys sharing different approaches to therapy through writing articles.