What I’ve learned about Online Therapy from Covid and how it will give my clients so much more than I anticipated:
The main reason I have not offered Telemedicine/Online Therapy was I felt it depersonalized the session and yo’ I was wrong. I actually get to come into my client’s home, get a glimpse of their sanctuary and the things/sometimes the people who are important to them. I would not have found this out without Telemedicine. This insight sometimes helps me find the connections my clients need to leap forward in their process. For example, I learned a client loved to garden but hadn’t since having a new medical diagnosis. In this experience we worked to identify the mental and physical blocks they were having around gardening and then applied that same process to their specific therapy goals – getting back to gardening for them was getting back to life.
I also had a thought that people won’t take me seriously when I am asking them over the video to close their eyes, or follow my hand or try out a thought flip technique. I was wrong again my sessions are pretty close to the in-person sessions and I can use just as many techniques as I do when people are on my couch. So if video conferencing, online engagement, and social engagement over technology work for you in general, then Online Therapy would likely work for you too.
While Online therapy is new to me, other therapists have been doing it for years and successfully meeting their client’s needs. There is plenty of research to support the use and benefits of telemedicine, including accessibility and reduction in therapy attrition. Just like other things in life sometimes having one more thing to drive to does stops us from going; even when it helps us.
So while I will go back to the office in August and I will continue to provide walk and talk therapy, I will also continue to provide Online Therapy because meeting people literally where they are at works. Thanks, COVID for pushing me as a therapist to evolve.