Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I made the decision two weeks ago to move away from meeting with my client in person and enter the new world of providing counseling via telehealth. Today in the blog I thought I would address some of the benefits of continuing counseling via telehealth, some of the challenges (and solutions), and how I am providing play therapy without my awesome office full of toys.
Your mental health is more important than ever right now. We are all experiencing a crisis at the same time and while some are adjusting better than others, the changes are pretty big. This can cause stress, anxiety, depression... you name it! And your therapist is there to walk with you through it.
No special equipment needed. You can be seen from your computer, smart phone, or tablet.
No travel time. You get to attend sessions from the comfort of your own space. (You can even wear your jammies... we won't tell!).
Privacy: Many of us are home with our entire families and finding somewhere private and quiet to have a session can be a challenge. Make a plan with your family for you to have some "me" time and locate a quiet part of the house to sit in. You can also escape to the car for a little bit if that's the only place you can find. Continuing counseling is a KEY part of self-care.
Insurance: While the majority of insurances have waived the requirements for telehealth to be covered, others have not. If you are finding that you do not have telehealth benefits I highly recommend you advocate for yourself. This looks like contacting the person in your company who takes care of benefits and finding out how to get telehealth benefits added to your plan. Counselors all over the country are coming together to advocate for this benefit to be universal and you can help us by contacting your insurance company as well.
Kids are SO adaptable! My week of play therapy via video has given me the opportunity to see children in their environment and has allowed them to show me all the important things in their life. Children seem to know exactly what to do with someone on video. Probably because they know this technology much better than we do. I'm able to read books, provide art prompts, talk about life, use mindfulness cards, Legos, playdoh, etc to interact with children. So if you're worried that play therapy can't continue because your child can't come to the office please reach out to your child's therapist to discuss those concerns and give the therapist an opportunity to share how they plan to hold sessions.
So hang in there, continue the work you were doing with your therapist, make self-care a priority, and stay well!