Online Therapy and COVID-19

People often start psychotherapy because they’re facing unprecedented challenges and are feeling overwhelmed.

If you’re feeling this way now, you’re not alone.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for you and your loved ones. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs

The coronavirus pandemic has created a paradox in mental health care.

Social distancing means that more people are in need of support for anxiety and depression and that more of those resources are harder to access in person. Mental health services might be inaccessible through traditional means, but never before have they been so accessible through our phones and computers.

What is online therapy and how does it work?

Online therapy, also known as teletherapy, e-therapy, e-counseling, distance counseling, etc. involves providing mental health services and support via the internet. It can be a safe and effective way of getting support during COVID-19.

Teletherapy can occur through email, text messaging, videoconferencing, online chat, phone, and mobile device apps. It utilizes the convenience of the internet to allow real-time (such as in phone conversations and text messaging) and time-delayed (such as through email messages) communication between client and therapist.

It works much like face-to-face therapy by providing you with the comfort and privacy to discuss your problems in a safe space.

In an online therapy modality, you are able to utilize everyday ways of communicating, such as phone calls, text messages, emails, and videoconferencing to talk to your therapist at your convenience about the challenges you’re facing.

There is no better time than now to take care of your mental health. Problems will not go away on their own, and challenges will only be made greater during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can begin to take charge of your life and create an increased sense of certainty and well-being during these tough times.

Online therapy can be a powerful tool for your mental health, especially during such an isolating, stressful time.

Online therapy during a global pandemic such as COVID-19 has become the norm for therapy under the social restrictions that we are currently experiencing. It enables you to get the support and help you may need with your problems from the safety of your own home during self-quarantine or shelter-in-place orders.

The majority of clients I’ve treated through teletherapy, seem to find that it goes smoothly. It might take a bit longer to feel connected if you’ve never met your therapist in person, but given a little time I’ve found that a close alliance can develop that supports the work of therapy.

If you generally like Skyping and FaceTiming with people, you’ll probably be comfortable with teletherapy.

Consider giving it a try for a few sessions if you’re on the fence about it. It could be a safe and convenient way to get the support you need during this challenging time.

Feel free to contact me for a free phone consultation to see if we’re a good fit or if you have any questions about online therapy and whether or not it’s right for you.

 

Want to learn more?

Here’s a great Psychology Today article about online therapy, which I was recently quoted in.

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