by Rebecca Johnson Osei, PsyD, ABPP
Most people’s baseline level of stress and anxiety is a bit higher than usual because, well, we are living in unusual times. Not only do you need to be super aware of your surroundings every time you leave the house (did you touch anything? Do you have hand sanitizer? Did you remember the Clorox wipes? Did that person just SNEEZE?!), and not only are the television and your phone constantly warning you that the world as you know it may be ending, but on top of all of that many people also feel they have lost access to their primary ways of coping. The gym? No way. Going out with friends? Absolutely not. Meditation retreat? Only if you’re the only one there.
While there are a number of alternatives to your tried and true ways of coping (check out March’s post by Dr. Timothy Schlairet with some ways to stay level headed), another major source of support that may feel out of reach is therapy. Most therapists have closed their physical offices in an effort to keep clients and staff safe. However, that doesn’t mean that you have lost your support. Telehealth (also termed telemedicine, teletherapy, and virtual visits) is quickly becoming an industry standard as a means of connecting clients and therapists. Tele visits can be done via phone or video, and only require a smart phone, tablet or laptop. Add headphones for extra privacy at home, or take a walk during your session to add in a heathy dose a fresh air. In truth, telehealth is about as flexible as therapy can be.
Some people worry that a telesession will feel “different” and, the truth is, it might. But different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some have even found it easier to open up during remote sessions than in person. The most important thing to remember is that now, when tensions are higher than usual, is the most important time to make sure you have as much support as possible. Even if you are nervous or uncomfortable at first, your therapist can help to address those feelings right in your session to make you as comfortable as possible. Our number one goal is to help you get through these difficult times as calmly and with as little anxiety as possible. Remember: physical distance is not the same as social distance, and we are still here for you – one phone call away.
For more information about our telehealth offerings, click HERE.