“7 Tips for Making the Most of Online Therapy During the COVID-19 Outbreak,” from Healthline (www.healthline.com), gives some great advice as to how to make the most out of your time in teletherapy. Covid-19 has changed everything, including the way we access mental health support. A few of the tips that stood out to me are:
“Our therapists’ ability to read us is something we might take for granted as we pivot to telemedicine. This is why it can be really beneficial to practice naming our emotions and reactions more explicitly.”
It’s true, we (the therapists) can’t “see” all that we could see when you were in the room with us. Naming your feelings is good practice for all sorts of reasons but it especially helps when we have this added distance between us in video.
“Be willing to name what you need — even if it seems ‘silly’”
One of the important things to try and avoid right now is comparing your pain and stress to what you perceive other people are going through. When we do that, we risk minimizing our own pain or stressful situations. We all want to be well and that can be accomplished by having open and direct conversations about what’s happening in your life that’s causing pain and the global issues that are piling as well.
“Online therapy itself is a more recent development in the field, and not all clinicians have proper training on how to translate their in-person work to a digital platform. I don’t say this to undermine your faith in them — but rather, to remind and encourage you to be your own best advocate in this process.”
I love this because it emphasizes the importance of advocating for your needs. Your therapist wants to know how you are feeling about your sessions. They are open to shifting focus or providing feedback to you in a more helpful way. Most of the time, when therapy isn’t meeting a client’s needs, they drop out. This leaves the therapist to wonder what happened and robs you of the experience of providing valuable feedback about your care.
I hope this article proves to be helpful as you continue to find support in whatever way feels right to you. Mental health needs are on the rise in this country. Luckily, the support and innovative ways for help to be delivered is on the rise too. Take care of yourself and be well.