Even now, most of us can recall the whirlwind of emotions stemming from the reorganization of our lives during the early days of the global Covid-19 pandemic. It was tough. We were anxious and uncertain. All of us were forced into adapting our work to online services and online communication. If we weren’t familiar with technology then, every person in the workforce received a crash course. The pressure was palpable. And yet, a silver lining also emerged where a newly revitalized appreciation for humanity was also integrated into company culture.
We are going on three years of pandemic protocols now, and it seems that for many companies, remote work is here to stay. Many companies have reprioritized employee wellness and placed newfound value into the work-life balance of their employees. Conversations around mental health have changed, with a new eye for preventing burnout and monitoring stress. While there have been many benefits, many of us wonder about the sacrifices made in order to adapt. As we were commandeered into isolation, we were also more willing to ease the line between our professional and personal lives- sometimes without choice as our shared family spaces became our WFH offices. While there are challenges to note and work through, we remain positive about the opportunities afforded to us by the work from home (WFH) culture.
With mental health taking a toll on many individuals and families during the pandemic, clinicians are continuing to support clients in getting the mental health care they deserve. Read on to learn more about how clinicians like ours at Aspire Neuropsych are continuing to provide quality healthcare in these times and why your mental health doesn’t need to be an afterthought.
Many changes have been made for the better since Covid-19 moved us all into working from home (WFH), including within the healthcare industry. The healthcare system was one of the most impacted arenas during the pandemic. Remote care was necessary to avoid exposure and limit the risk of getting sick or passing the virus to a loved one. Experts say that the industry changed more in one year than it has in modern history. The urgency for reorganization also revealed many policies and systems that were outdated or needed review, as well as vulnerable communities. For example, we saw racial disparities in deaths due to Covid as well as the elderly suffering more, due to limited accessibility to appropriate care for their vulnerable or compromised immune systems.
Telehealth (also known as telemedicine or teletherapy) is the way that professional healthcare can be offered online, through virtual appointments. Appointments are usually conducted through secure, online video platforms that are private and confidential. Information shared between the client and therapist stays within this dyad; video appointments are never recorded or shared without the client’s consent.
The therapeutic relationship is still one of the most important considerations of the therapist, even in online therapy. A relationship with a client is established from day one, when your therapist gathers information about the problems you are experiencing as well as reasons for your visit. Creating a welcoming space from where appointments are conducted, such as a clean and aesthetic office background, is a way your therapist helps you feel more at ease and comfortable during the therapy process. Sessions are typically more structured as well, which gives the opportunity for more specialized treatment such as behavioral interventions, and less focus on mere talk therapy.
Therapy has traditionally been provided in person, from the therapist’s or counselor’s office. However, moving to online therapy has many benefits that you may not have yet considered and research suggests that teletherapy is just as effective as in person therapy.
For one, many people who use online or virtual therapy use it for the convenience and flexibility that remote therapy offers. Clients who have a busy schedule and are home-bound may prefer having their sessions from the comfort of their own home, where they don’t have to rush or re-organize their day to get to their appointment. In fact, many therapists report that clients are able to open up more as they feel more comfortable being vulnerable from their own familiar space rather than from an unaccustomed couch. This feature may help facilitate ongoing trust within the client-therapist relationship, which ultimately helps the client get closer to their goals.
Additionally, virtual / online therapy opens up the possibility to be connected with a therapist who may not have been close enough or accessible to travel to see in person. Many clients live in areas that don’t have access to the specialized care or level of care that they need. As clients are invested in their wellness, remote therapy may also encourage more regular attendance and consistency in the progress toward client goals.
Telehealth has emerged as a means to provide mental health care as an integral service, regardless of accessibility. As the pandemic brought increased awareness to the many strains placed on the workforce, counselors and therapists have moved toward a more flexible option for providing continued support from the frontlines. When it comes to mental health care, there are clinicians who are able to provide the care and support that best meets your needs.
If you are a mental health therapist who is interested in joining our team to provide telehealth, or a client in need of support please contact us today.