Teletherapy, friend or foe?

It has definitely been an adjustment

Speaking with colleagues and clients during this tumultuous time, I’ve discovered a love/hate relationship with teletherapy. Some have been extremely grateful to have it as an option at all, besides, us therapists would basically be unemployed if this pandemic struck 20 years ago when Zoom wasn’t around. Current technology makes it possible to remain employed and engaged with our clients, that’s the fantastic part. Some client’s have also expressed gratitude for being able to manage anxiety, depression and other mental health issues via screen time.

On the flip side, teletherapy can be seen as an immense burden. How do you conduct play therapy with children? Where is the intimacy that only an in person meeting can provide? Why am I always having technical issues with Zoom and my wifi?! All relevant questions and frustrations.

Now, there are therapists that have completely embraced teletherapy and some have even opened up full-time telehealth practices. I think that’s great, perhaps a glimpse into the future! The more accessible mental health services are, the better. Overall, I do believe that having the option of teletherapy is positive for the field. Being forced to conduct teletherapy without any other options? Not so much. Some clients really need that face to face contact. Some therapists feel extremely burned out doing non-stop video sessions and may even start to question their ability as a therapist or why they went into the field to begin with. As with most things, I think balance here is key. Having teletherapy as an option alongside traditional therapy is ideal. It opens up new doors without closing old ones. The recent crisis has opened up our eyes to the power that teletherapy has, as well as it’s limitations. At the end of the day, it is a great tool to have in the tool kit, hopefully insurances will allow us to continue to utilize it when there is some sense of normalcy again.

I intend to always have teletherapy as an option for my clients. What are your thoughts on the matter? Friend or foe? Let me know down below in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about teletherapy services or other therapy services that I offer, please call (914) 355-9508 or email me at contact@polariscounselingservices.com and I’ll be happy to help. Have a great day!

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