- Consider the environment in which you choose to have a session. Is it quiet and relatively free of distractions? Most importantly, is it private? Sometimes it can initially seem fine for a loved one to be near, only to have something come up in session that you don’t feel comfortable discussing in front of them.
- Make sure you’re using a secure connection. Don’t use open, public Wi-Fi.
- You and your therapist may talk about a safety plan in case you need a higher level of care (e.g., knowing the closest hospital and having a plan to get there if need be).
- It is perfectly OK to process what it’s like to be doing teletherapy in the first place! It’s all “grist for the mill” as we therapists like to say, and it’s important to continuously work through any discomfort you might have.
- As this is being written, how this is all going to play out with insurance companies is still emerging. So far, most seem to understand the urgency to covering these sessions like any other, and that seems to be the general trend. We’ll keep you posted.
As always, in addition to your therapist, questions about scheduling and billing can be directed to Devin. She is best reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, I want to address the mental and emotional strain this represents for folks, particularly those already dealing with mental health concerns.
- First, please know that it is perfectly normal to be affected by this crisis, and, for a lot of folks, this can extend into obsessive thoughts, panic, helplessness, and exacerbated depressive symptoms. The best advice I’ve heard is simply to listen to the experts. This can mean sticking to information provided by the CDC and the Ohio and Columbus Health Departments, and giving yourself permission to back away from endless news and social media consumption. It is also OK for this crisis to be a topic in therapy.
- Second, social distancing and self-isolating are going to exacerbate existing feelings of loneliness and/or isolation. It becomes even more vital under the current circumstances to stay as connected as possible and to check in with loved ones (by video chat if possible). Here’s a link to a helpful resource from SAMHSA about the psychological impact of this crisis: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Taking-Care-of-Your-Behavioral-Health-During-an-Infectious-Disease-Outbreak/sma14-4894
- Lastly, we recognize that this could potentially be a financial strain for those in various affected industries. Concern over finances is a HUGE stressor on its own; we believe that it shouldn’t also prevent you from seeking services. To that end, we at City Counseling are committed, now and always, to working with our clients around issues of payment (e.g., establishing payment plans).