Teletherapy has been something always offered by many therapists, including yours truly here at Better Being Mainline. In the past, it was used as a backup plan for many clients and therapists when there was bad weather, or a client was traveling for work, etc. But, since COVID-19 and quarantine, teletherapy is no longer plan B. It’s the only plan. There has been a sudden shock to our world and we are all still reeling from it while experiencing the collective trauma of COVID-19. For many aspects of living we have been thrown in the deep end in relying on technology to continue parts of living: home schooling, workouts, online shopping to avoid grocery stores, and now teletherapy to work on parts of ourselves and our relationships with others. On one hand many of us finally acknowledge that mental health and psychotherapy is essential. However, some people struggle to accept the shift from in person therapy to teletherapy, their instinct is to pause therapy and wait until our world Is back up and running. In addition, some people are so overwhelmed by the many changes at once, they automatically look to see what in their life they can cut out, and sometimes therapy can be the low hanging fruit.
This is not the time to discontinue your coping skills. They are needed more than ever in this time of uncertainty and stress. If your outlets have switched to virtual, it is time to lean in. Therapy especially. There are numerous ways and reasons that teletherapy can serve a purpose in your life right now. Here are just a few of the following ways:
-Teletherapy can give you a sense of connection with others if you’ve loss that sense of connection having to self quarantine. Depending on your living situation, and the quality of outside communication during quarantine, teletherapy is a promised, reliable source of connection during a disconnected time.
-Teletherapy can help you develop tools to manage your stress and anxiety during this time. Whether it is health anxiety, stress about finances impacted by quarantine, fear about the unknown, teletherapy is an outlet for you to express these thoughts and feelings while learning effective coping skills.
-Teletherapy can keep you accountable during a time that would trigger a relapse into unhealthy behaviors. Whether you struggle with disordered eating, or anxiety, etc., this stressful time can heighten and even trigger your old behaviors. This is when you monitor it and track it with the help of a therapist, even when it can’t be in person.
-Teletherapy can serve as an outlet for you and help you process the many emotions you’re likely experiencing due to the social, financial, medical, and emotional impact of COVID-19.
-Teletherapy can help you work on your connection and communication with your partner during this time. Major life events can cause major stress and conflict on a relationship. Let couples therapy help the two of you identify individual coping skills as well as ways to cope together.
-Teletherapy can help you process the grief that you are likely experiencing as plans and life events are being canceled and postponed (graduations, fertility treatments, birth plans, weddings, etc). This is also a good time to learn about the many subsets of grief and how they may impact you now and in the future because of COVID-19.
-Teletherapy can help you work on the issues that were there before quarantine started. Just because our world stopped in mid March, doesn’t mean the struggles in our relationship stopped, or the negative thoughts that we battle with everyday decided to stop. (However, there are people out there less anxious during quarantine because they’re currently not having to face their anxiety triggers). For those whose issues have not disappeared, these issues may even be heightened due to quarantine. Whether you were already in therapy and you’re considering continuing the work with your therapist during this time, or you’ve been delaying starting therapy and you realize now is a good time since you’re home with literally nowhere else to go.
-Teletherapy can help you develop boundaries for your current living situation. Couples living together during quarantine are adjusting to sharing their work from home space, or may be struggling with an imbalance in employment, others may have had to move back home temporarily with families, which can cause resurfacing of old conflicts and just bring to light family dynamics.
-Teletherapy is a great resource for couples in COVID together. This is your opportunity to address issues surfacing due to quarantine. Whether it’s discussing expectations of each other while home, or the impact of children home during this time, the list is endless. You have the chance to learn effective tools to help you each cope and connect during such a critical time. This quarantine will make some couples and break some couples. Which category do you want to be in at the end of this?
The bottomline is COVID is causing grief, trauma, anxiety, guilt, appreciation, the list goes on. It is an understandable time to need additional support, and now with the access to teletherapy from your home, there’s no excuse not to.
If you have any questions or concerns about teletherapy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask. Help is available. Call: (610) 608-0390.