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An overview 

With strict social distancing guidelines and a major shift towards conducting business and every-day appointments online amidst the coronavirus outbreak, there’s a need to adapt to reaching our healthcare providers and accessing wellness services in a completely different way than ever before. Online therapy or ‘teletherapy’ lets you connect with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own home. All you need is access to the internet and any device that can support live video connection and then you’re set. 

Teletherapy gives you the same mindful tools and helpful lessons that in-person therapy can in order to set you on the right path towards better managing your mental health and keeping a strong mindset during these next few weeks. The good news is that online therapy may even end up costing you less than traditional, in-person sessions, but we’ll get into that later.  What’s important to know is that online therapy has no limits. Online therapists offer a range of therapy types from cognitive behavioral therapy or emotion-focused therapy to family counseling. This means the possibility to reach out to a therapist during lockdown is open to anyone, no matter what your situation or healthcare needs are.

Should you still do therapy sessions during lockdown?

Although it may seem like a daunting task at first, being able to communicate with a therapist online is a really important tool at a time like this. With the mounting pressure and added tensions piling up over the last few weeks, working through your emotions using online therapy is critical to keep your mental health at a high and avoid slipping into any pandemic-inspired lows.

Remember, your journey towards self-improvement and mindfulness doesn’t end during lockdown. Keep working on any feelings of apprehensions and strive to find positivity during this pandemic . The goal is to make the most of the time you have now and work towards a better mindset and a healthier outlook on life. All that’s needed is a little adjustment from your side and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and try this new way of communicating. 

Is therapy really effective online ?

Yes! It may even be better. A 2014 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that online treatment was just as effective as face-to-face treatment for people struggling with their mental health and everyday anxieties. While still getting the same face-to-face interactions, now you’ll also be able to express yourself in a much more comfortable environment – your own home. We all need some help in order to be our happiest, healthiest selves, so why not do it in your own space where you are the most stress-free and comfortable you can be? 

What’s great about online therapy is it’s also a lot more convenient and accessible than in-person appointments. You can schedule an appointment around your home and work life to eliminate some of the stress of balancing your other obligations while still trying to fit in some time to rush to a therapy session. The time you save just from avoiding the fight thought  traffic alone will also relieve some time pressure and frustration. A few extra minutes a day and a more adaptable way of scheduling could give you the break you need to take a few extra minutes in the day and simply relax.

Online therapy also changes the entire dynamic of therapy. There’s often a noticeable stigma around therapy and issues of mental health. Online therapy makes it easier to reframe the idea of therapy into something that is merely a conversation between two people and it gives you the room to release your tightly held worries and receive the necessary advice without the pressure of feeling like you’re “going to therapy”.

How can you make the most of your sessions?

Online therapy not only works, but it might even be better than face-to-face appointments if you make the most of each session. Using these 5 easy tips you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of your online sessions from the comfort of your own home. In this way you’ll really get your time and your money’s worth from each session while gaining valuable insight and advice at the same time.

 

Online Therapy

1. Find a quiet room and a space of your own 

Allowing yourself to be distracted by family, work or incomplete chores means that the session won’t be nearly as effective as it should be. Distance yourself from any noise front the outside or looming responsibilities. If your mind is lingering on something else, it makes introspecting and identifying difficult feelings that much more difficult. 

It’s important to keep your focus on the conversation at hand and the feelings you’re experiencing right at that moment. Also be sure to turn off your phone and cut off any distractions from the world of work. 

2. Inform your family and ask for space

Try to set aside a period in the day which is designated specifically for you and your mental health healing process. Let them know that you need some time to be alone and that you won’t be available for that hour. 

Your family members are your main supporters and they’ll understand that, sometimes, you need some time to focus on yourself too.

3. Don’t treat these sessions any differently 

It may take a while to get the hang of this new method of communicating but don’t let yourself get frustrated. Approach this session as you would any other. Open up about new difficulties that the coronavirus has brought with it and any uncertainty you may be feeling at this time. 

Due to the rising unemployment rate and economic impact of this disease, many people have also started to feel more hopeless and less motivated. Talk to your therapist about these difficulties and brainstorm ways to handle unemployment anxiety during these difficult months. Try to address any normal, every-day stresses too – those don’t just go away and it’s important to name and explain them so that you can start working through those anxieties together

4. Find out how what kind of costs you can expect 

The bad news is that some insurance companies may not cover teletherapy so make sure to check in with your provider first. The good news is that it might actually be cheaper to make the switch to online therapy. 

Therapists may charge a reduced rate and you also have a much wider range of therapists and prices to choose for, now that you’re not limited by distance.

5. Take your therapist’s advice! 

Not only are you paying a therapist for their services, but you’re also sacrificing your own time to be in these sessions. It’s easy to think we know what’s best for ourselves but, sometimes, we need the guidance of a professional to point out the things we can’t see and give us a push in the right direction. Part of healing and moving towards a healthier, more mindful mindset is accepting that you may need to lean on others and listen to the words of wisdom that they have to offer.

By really taking in the advice offered to you during your mindfulness-based therapy sessions, you can stay in touch with your mental health and get in a better headspace which will allow you to look after both your mental and physical well-being during this time. You may even develop some better techniques to help you thrive during uncertainty by using any new anti-stress tools you pick up during therapy sessions.

Finding an online therapist 

Finding a therapist online can be tricky. It’s often difficult to try and balance the service and type of support that you’d like with a price that your budget can realistically accommodate. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what youre looking for. Think about the type of therapy you’d like to get, how much you can afford to pay and how often you want to have sessions each week. 

Since this is where you discuss your biggest stresses and inner worries, your therapist needs to be someone who you feel completely comfortable around. Make sure you have an opportunity to meet the therapist online, face-to-face before committing to appointments so that you can get a better feel of their energy and figure out if this is someone you can truly feel comfortable speaking with.

WellBe’s Survival Pack 

With all that’s going on, we want to do our best to support both your physical and mental health and give you the tools to make the best of a challenging time like this. With our informative blog posts that discuss everything from healthy eating to creative at-home exercises, and our instagram page that will keep you connected and in-touch, we’re here to provide you with the best tools to focus on your personal growth throughout your health and wellness journey. 

Don’t forget to check out our daily instagram posts and stories to stay up-to-date with our newest recipes and daily workouts. Don’t hesitate to drop us a DM or contact us here if you have any more questions about mental health, fitness or personal wellness.

Gemma Oberholzer

About Gemma Oberholzer

I guess you can say I'm a serial self-improver. Since I was a kid I can remember being weirdly thrilled at the idea of learning something new and figuring out how to use that new found knowledge to better myself. This perpetual learn-grow itch eventually lead me to the field of Health and Wellness and it's here I've been, fascinated for the last 8 years of my study and work life. From Human Life Scientist and learning the mechanics of physiology and intricacies of metabolic biochemistry, to Food and Nutrition Scientist where I deepened my understanding of diet and it's key role in human performance and health. Geared with this comprehensive education and better appreciation for human health, I've since been able to practically apply this in my career through the fields of research, product development, brand management and marketing. In 2018, I was finally able to bring all these learnings together and so my passion project, WellBe&Co, was born. WellBe&Co is a personal and corporate wellness company specializing in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions. It's here that I've gained invaluable insights into the human-side of the health and wellness industry in a way that has enabled me to provide relevant content and value-adding services to individuals and companies alike and live out our mission to build communities that know better and grow together through better health.

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