Telephone-Counseling for Good Mental Health
In these difficult times of the C.O.V.I.D. pandemic, many people are experiencing anxiety and other mental health concerns. You are not alone; help is available if you need to talk with someone; there are many online councilors ready and able to help you through your struggles and come to a better place. A growing number of professionals are adding telephone-counseling or online therapy to their services in order to meet the current need. Online therapy affords anyone to access the health care they need in the privacy of their own home via the internet or phone. This is a lifesaving tool, especially during the pandemic. It is also a very convenient new service for when the pandemic is over, and people become busy and need a little more flexibility in their life.
Online therapy provides a more convenient means to get the help you need. Many of the services use a video conferencing platform or telephone making the experience feel similar to being in the therapist’s office, although they also offer text therapy based on your needs and comfort level with this technology.
In good time or bad, finding time to get to your therapy appointment can be difficult with work, kids, and all the things we have to get done each day, just adding to your already stressful life. Online therapy removes many of these obstacles, making therapy a less stressful event in your life. This is just what the doctor ordered. Counseling can bring out very private and intimate conversations, and some may feel a bit uncomfortable talking about these things remotely. I encourage you to give it a try; if you are going to a video conference, find a private space in your house gets some quality headphones. Getting yourself comfortable and in a safe space will help make you more comfortable. If, after a few sessions, you still feel uncomfortable talk with your counselor as they may have further suggestions in making you at ease. Some of the benefits of online therapy are:
- More flexible scheduling, such as late evening
- Reduces travel times
- The cost is often more affordable
- Flexibility to make an emergency appointment
How to find a qualified online therapist
When you have made the decision to look for an online therapist, there are few things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure the professional you’re considering is a licensed therapist. Check to see if they are a psychiatrist (an M.D. or D.O.), licensed psychologist (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.), licensed psychological associate (L.P.A.), licensed professional counselor (L.P.C.), licensed clinical social worker (L.C.S.W.), or licensed marriage and family therapist (L.M.F.T.).
- Ensure the technology platform they are using is HIPAA-compliant; this will ensure your privacy is protected.
In a traditional talk therapy session, you generally meet with your therapist in their office sitting on the couch. This environment does have its benefits where both you and the therapist can see eye to eye and read each other’s body language. These visual cues can provide insights on how you are feeling. With video conferencing or telephone therapy, some of these insights can be harder to read. Studies have shown online therapy to be effective. In many cases these new trends and technologies can be as effective as face to face meetings. It just takes a session or two for you to become comfortable and will hardly notice the new venue.
Mental Health Therapy lends itself well to an online environment. Many common issues are perfect for this medium; some of these include:
- Food and eating issues
- Relationship issues
- Obsessions and compulsions (O.C.D.)
- Parenting issues
How to Deal with depression:
- With social distancing, we all need to stay connected. Check this article out on”Intimacy vs. Isolation: Why Relationships Are So Important” for great ideas on how to stay connected
- Give yourself a break, we often times put to much expectations on ourselves which can contribute to our state of mind. Give yourself a break and don’t take on all the worlds problems.
- Take care of yourself: eat healthy, exercise, and maintain your hygiene
- Create a routine, even at home. this will provide consistency in your life
- Watch movies
- Read books
Things to help alleviate/deal with anxiety:
- We are all drawn to the news on COVID-19, but take a break from keeping on top of the latest news. It can be upsetting to continuously hear the negative news.
- Eat healthy, exercise
- Meditate, breathing exercises
- Journal your feelings
- Stay connected to others. Keep your relationships strong especially during this time.
With technology we now have more options then every to the get the help needed. We can continue to obtain therapy face-to-face albeit via a video conference call. We also have Telephone-Counseling or in an emergency your therapist can communicate via text. These are fantastic avenues to obtain help when and where needed without having to drive to an office. Not only is the convenience a great benefit but for those who do not have access to affordable mental health care, these new technology are helping to make this a viable option at a lower cost. If you’re unsure if this is for you, I encourage you to give it a try. Take care of yourself and stay safe.