“So I am quarantined, and I know I probably need more support…but is this teletherapy thing legitimate?” Most every therapist I know is offering teletherapy sessions right now during COVID-19. Some people think it’s the best thing ever and immediately say “sign me up!” and some people are more hesitant. I get it…therapy is very awkward to begin with, and then doing sessions over a video chat? Well, that can be weird. So I am here to clear a few things up.
- First of all, teletherapy is HIPAA compliant. I am not quite sure how, but fancy IT people have developed fancy software to make HIPAA compliant video sessions. It is just as easy as FaceTime, but definitely more secure! Most of the platforms that have HIPAA secure video chat require you to simply click a link that your therapist sends you to join the session! Even my 71 year old father could figure it out!
- Secondly…no, it doesn’t feel the same as being in the office. There are pros and cons to both in office and teletherapy, but for me, I really enjoy connecting with people in person and I am an extrovert through and through, so I get great energy connecting with others and being around people. It stinks that I don’t have that in person connection and it is different than being in the office.
- All of that being said, there are some really neat parts about teletherapy. For example, I can get a glimpse into your home life which is always fun (I have virtually met so many dogs, children who have been screaming, and seen the inside of lots of people’s houses). Although that can be a distraction from therapy for sure, it can also be really cool to connect on that level. Plus, I have a 2 pound dog that I will often bring into the picture if it doesn’t distract from the session too much 😉
- Another really great part of teletherapy, is that it’s easy! As I mentioned, all it takes on your part is clicking a link, but you don’t have to leave your house, you don’t even have to get out of bed! It keeps you safe and socially distant while getting the support you need!
The bottom line is that I know it’s not always ideal. I know that it can be frustrating. But this is a really weird time in the world and it is NOT the time to put your mental health last. Anxiety levels are at an all time high according to the American Psychological Association. Please don’t let your anxiety take over…just try teletherapy…maybe you’ll even like it!