Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
I thought I would hate it. It was intense at first. Even though some people are moving back into the office, many of us are going to remain counseling online for the foreseeable future. For me and my own personal health, I’ve actually come to really enjoy it.
At first, when I started doing it full time in March, it was really exhausting — there is such a thing as Zoom Fatigue. Now I look back and realize part of it was just managing technical difficulties. The platform, wifi issues, how to quickly switch to a different platform if one isn’t working — you don’t have to think about these things in the office! Now that I’ve gotten more practice, it goes more smoothly. The other aspect of this is the distraction of my own face sitting in the corner; does anyone else find this just too much? My new strategy is I put a post-it note or box and literally cover up my face. It makes a big difference! I feel so much more relaxed and able to focus on my clients.
Now what I’ve really come to appreciate is I can see the face of the person in front of me far more clearly and closely than I would have if we met in the office. I’m able to pick up more microexpressions on clients’ faces, and that’s a real benefit. I’ve actually come to enjoy the ease of it!
I also love seeing my clients — especially couples, in their own environment. It’s like visiting them in their house! Of course, there are situations in which people have children and they can’t find a quiet space to be in. But even couples with kids in my practice have figured this out. Strategies for teaching kids that mommy and daddy need time for themselves might be an important first topic to address with your therapist.
So I encourage you, whether you’re a couple, individual, or family, to seek the help that you need, even if telehealth is a new and possibly uncomfortable experience for you. You might find this new mode of therapy is more convenient! You might choose online OVER the office someday. After all — no commute! Most insurance companies are actually covering copays for virtual therapy right now, in order to encourage you to get the help you need. Why not give it a try?