Don’t Let Covid-19 Stop Your Therapy
The arrival of the Corona virus has thrown us into a strange new world of social distancing that has significantly impacted our day to day living. However, social distancing does not have to mean isolation. But we do have to be more intentional and creative in how we connect.
Your health, well being, and state of your relationships matter to me. I want to ensure that you continue to receive uninterrupted counselling during this time of great uncertainty.
To adhere to the current provincial public health orders and still provide therapy services, I have transitioned my practice to online video therapy. This new way of doing therapy can still allow us to keep connected as client and therapist, while you continue with your therapy sessions or are wanting to start therapy at this time.
Now I have to say that in the past, I have been both skeptical and hesitant about doing online therapy. However, I must admit that after the past few weeks of conducting online sessions, they have proved that there was no need for this concern. I have been surprised to see that online therapy is not nearly as limiting as I had thought, and it’s just as effective.
Clients have also indicated a positive experience with this process.
You might be tempted to pause counselling due to your concerns with the effectiveness of online video therapy, or being unfamiliar with the process. At the same time, you may be experiencing more stress, anxiety, depression, and addictive or compulsive patterns. No doubt being cooped up can stir up personal issues and challenges in your relationship.
Therapy at this time can be very beneficial.
While all of this can feel very overwhelming and stressful during this time, it’s an opportunity for growth and healing. Staying at home affords us the flexibility and time to participate in regularly scheduled therapy sessions.
Therapy is likely to be highly beneficial, particularly during this time of great uncertainty, when we can feel even more disconnected with those that we are closest to. Taking a few steps can help you to get just as much out of your virtual session as you get face-to-face.
Please let me know how I can support you through this. And let me know if there is anything I can do to make your online therapy experience more meaningful.
I am still here for you … and even though we are not able to meet face-to-face, I hold you in my thoughts. I know we can and will come out of this stronger.
Online video conferencing requires the following:
- Electronic Device – Computer, smartphone or tablet.
- Secure Internet – If using a computer, it’s preferable to have it hardwired to your router for best results.
- Application/App – You will be provided a link to download Zoom onto your device. Zoom is free and no sign-up is required.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Online Therapy
Electronic Device Setup
- Make sure that you have a good reliable internet connection.
- Place your device is as close as possible (or wired) to your router.
- If using a laptop or tablet, ensure it is fully charged or powered by an adapter.
- Turn off all notifications and close out everything on your screen except the Zoom window.
- Test to ensure your video and audio are working.
- Have a phone available in the event of a poor connection or the video freezes (the phone can be used for audio).
- Use a white noise app on your phone or a sound machine placed outside the door, for privacy or if you are concerned about being overheard.
- Find a place that is private. (This may be tricky if you have young children – If you are able to offer them some kind of activity to occupy their attention for the hour, that would be advisable. If they do interrupt, don’t get too frustrated. Just acknowledge their immediate needs, redirect them, then return your focus.)
- Sit close together in the same room, and ensure that I can see you both from the waist up to allow me to read your body language.
- Sit in a well light area facing a light source (not with your back to a window).
Prepare As If You Where Attending Counselling In Person
- Log on 5-10 minutes before your session. This can start the mental preparation that takes place during the drive to therapy and sitting in the waiting room.
- During this time, remove distractions from your space and get yourself a glass of water & tissues.
- Take note of potential distractions (kids, dogs, the pile of work papers, etc.). I invite you not to get too frustrated by them, but rather to just notice, allow, and then return your focus. It can also be helpful to do some advance preparation to limit anticipated distractions.
The Therapy Process
In the absence of sitting with you in person:
- I may ask you questions that seem overly obvious about your emotional experience, in order to clarify and validate my sense of what may be surfacing for you in the moment.
- I will not be able to roll my chair close to you in moments of tension, conflict, or emotional intensity. Therefore, I may ask you to tune in to me more than usual during these specific moments, in order to slow things down and more effectively process what is occurring (i.e. look at my face, listen to my suggestions, hold an intense moment without moving on, etc.).
- It will become incumbent upon you to be more transparent about your emotional experience as I will have fewer cues regarding what may be happening internally for you in a virtual session, than I would in person. I ask that you remain more aware of your internal emotional experience. When emotion surfaces internally, please you do your best to verbalize what is happening in the moment, so that I am able to stay as close to your experience as possible.
- While it may be more difficult for me to intuitively track your emotion and energetic shifts, this presents an opportunity for you to deepen awareness and articulate this moment to moment emotional experience. This is a very useful skill to develop on your journey to healing.
- Lastly, I want you to know that we are in this together, and we will be figuring out how to best work with one another over the course of time.
Please note: If you are having difficulties overcoming some of these barriers it may be possible for me to see you in my office while maintaining safe social distancing orders. This will be considered on a case by case basis.