The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have negatively affected many people’s mental health and have changed daily life for a significant portion of Americans. With the national death toll now topping 100,000 and no respite from the fear and anxiety many of us are experiencing, living amid these unprecedented circumstances is putting our coping skills to the ultimate test.
If you’re feeling the need to talk through your concerns with someone, the good news is that the coronavirus outbreak has made telehealth more accessible than ever. New legislation has loosened the HIPAA restrictions on conducting remote visits, allowing you to meet with a therapist using an app such as Skype. For people who are intimidated by the idea of seeking therapy, this comes as welcome news. Now, you can get qualified counseling without ever leaving your home – and you might even find it easier to open up to someone online.
If you have health insurance, you can use your insurer’s website to find in-network telemedicine providers. You can also find a therapist with resources such as TalkSpace, which links you to a licensed therapist through messaging and video chat. Here are some tips for working with a therapist during COVID-19.
1. Be Patient
Don’t be alarmed if you don’t immediately click with your therapist. This phenomenon is normal even with in-person counseling. Though technology has helped foster a sense of connection, it can feel awkward at first to have intensely personal conversations entirely through an app. Keep in mind that many therapists are exploring remote counseling for the first time in their careers, so the “feeling-out” period may take longer than usual as both of you get used to this new routine. That doesn’t mean you’re not a good candidate for online therapy. Stick with it until you find a rhythm that works for you.
2. Make Time and Space to Meet With Your Therapist
One of the benefits of teletherapy is that you can message your therapist whenever you feel the need. However, you should still be intentional about when you have therapy sessions. To make the most of your experience, don’t make counseling an afterthought, or something you do “just because.” If you prioritize it as a necessary task, you’re more likely to take it seriously. Minimize distractions by designating a specific time of day and room of your home where you will participate in therapy. Alert anyone who lives with you that you need privacy during your counseling times.
3. Name Your Needs
You may feel hesitant to bring up some concerns with your therapist because you think they feel somewhat trivial. Remember, however, that anything that’s affecting your emotional well-being is worth bringing to the table. All of us are struggling to take care of our needs during this pandemic, and it’s unhealthy to ignore your emotions. Some examples of questions you could ask include:
- I can’t stop worrying about myself and my family. Do you think I’m overreacting?
- Can you recommend some healthy coping strategies to deal with my stress?
- Self-quarantine has made me feel isolated. How can I connect with other people?
Compassionate Help Is Here for You
At Canyon Crossing, we recognize the need for mental health and substance abuse treatment is vital, especially during a global health crisis. We remain dedicated to our mission of providing women with the help they need to recover from the disease of addiction and learn to live a fulfilling life. Reach out today to learn more about women’s-only rehab in Arizona.