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A Therapist’s Perspective of Online Therapy

By June 24, 2020August 5th, 2022Online Therapy
Online Therapy San Diego

Online therapy, huh? I am sure you have questioned it. I know I have. Whether you are someone who has worked with therapists in the past or someone who is looking to start therapy for the first time, you probably have questions and mixed feelings about how telehealth or online therapy will work. As a therapist, I know I did. This is not something they prepared me for in school. Back then, online sessions were not an option, and I was trained to see clients face to face. Today, online therapy is a solution for adults and kids who may need a more flexible counseling option than visiting our San Diego office regularly. You can learn more about my experience with online counseling and what you can expect on this page.

My Original Concerns About Teletherapy 

Much of my questioning about online teletherapy sessions centered on, how effective it can really be to meet someone online. Will it change the therapeutic relationship with my current clients? What about new clients? How will they feel and what will our relationship be like?

Like many of you, when COVID-19 hit, I had a lot of uncertainty about offering online counseling. My first thought was, okay this will last 1 or 2 weeks, and I we will be back in the office working face to face with my clients. I thought, I am not going to push online therapy. I figured, most people would rather wait for in person sessions.  In some cases, I was right. Some of my clients were not willing or prepared to try online sessions. Some simply were not comfortable. A decision I respected, as this is a completely unprecedented time.

Adjusting to the Idea of Telehealth Counseling 

However, those first two weeks, turned into over a month, and it became clear that clients and therapists alike were going to have to embrace online therapy, the new face of mental health, just as we are embracing many other changes from our pre COVID-19 lives. This brought about a new set of anxieties. What will we talk about?! As if I did not know these people! Will the technology really work? How awkward will it be? How much will be lost “in translation?” Do I really want to give people a glimpse of my home life? More importantly, do they want me to see their home lives?

What Really Happened

With all that being said, the transition from an in person practice, to a practice completely online has been much easier than I ever expected. My clients show up with the same sort of enthusiasm they do for their office visits, and I have found that the therapeutic relationship is just a strong as ever. We have all enjoyed the occasional furry friend who pops into the frame, and we have enjoyed introducing our pets to one another. Sure, there is the occasional issue with technology, but it is a learning curve that we are all figuring out together. I now have new clients who I have only met online, and we are successfully navigating the joining process completely virtually! We often joke about what it will be like when we finally meet in person!

The Unintended Consequences of a Tough Situation

The situation that COVID-19 has placed us in has been extremely draining and mentally exhausting for all, and mental health is becoming more important than ever. Isolation is hitting us all in different ways. Some of us are isolating with our families and are reaching our breaking point with all being together in one place. Others of us are isolating completely alone, and that is taking a whole different toll.  Many of us are grieving trips, events, and family gatherings that we will be not be attending. All this change and uncertainty is hitting our mental health hard. We should all be checking in on ourselves and taking our “mental health temperatures” just as we check in on our physical health. Now, not later, is the time to reach out. We all need a little extra support and guidance as this process continues to unfold and change our lives. 

How do I Get Started?

If you or someone you know is experiencing changes in behaviors or mood, this may be an indication that therapy can be helpful. The skilled therapists at Family Connections Therapy are currently providing telehealth and tele-play therapy sessions to accommodate people of all ages. Family Connections Therapy therapists are trained to support families in navigating scary and uncertain times and are happy to help. Reach out to one of our team members to get started.