The pandemic continues, as it has since this past winter. Many of us in the mental health field continue to use telehealth therapy feeling it not wise at this point to return to our offices.
This decision results from our own feelings of not yet feeling confident in the safety of ourselves or our families, and in not being sure it is safe yet for our clients. Other psychotherapists have started returning to their offices and are making sure to practice all of the recommended safety protocols to do so.
For all of us the use of telehealth has been an interesting experience! We undoubtedly miss seeing our clients in person. Telehealth cannot replicate that experience. It also can be harder to engage with new clients as there is more of a formal barrier in that regard.
And many of us miss our offices, which often become our home away from home, especially for commuters outside the area in which they work. We have often put much effort into setting up and decorating our offices. And we miss our building neighbors and staff.
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But on the other hand, using telehealth means we get to see our clients in their homes, and they get glimpses of our homes, including sometimes our pets, or family members who may stick their heads in. While this can be annoying it can also be humorous and fun.
With telehealth we often have much more flexibility because we don't have to commute. And we don't need to worry about snow days and other weather related issues. And we can stay connected when our clients or we are elsewhere.
With the fact New York is now carefully opening up, this raises the issue more broadly. Many of us have begun returning to offices and many have not. Many of us have no immediate plan to do so.
The New York Times recently published this article Teletherapy, Popular in the Pandemic, May Outlast It with more information and thoughts about the use of telehealth. It reiterates some of the above issues and mentions various pros and cons of doing Psychotherapy with various clinical issues.
For example, the article explores the use of telehealth in regard to aspects of trauma therapy. There are interesting and surprising pros mentioned here, ie the therapist being able to witness clients taking steps to overcome trauma.
Likewise, children who are afraid of certain things that therapist and child can explore together.
I am very interested in all readers' comments. Do you use telehealth? Have you been pleased with it? What are your thoughts?
I urge you to share your experiences and thoughts through our Commentsfeature below.
Judith Gringorten, Executive Director
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Judith Gringorten, LCSW, DCSW — Executive Director Robin Halpern, LCSW–R, DCSW — Assistant Director Special Projects Coordinator: Leslie Goldstein, LCSW, BCD Articles &... Editor: Robin Halpern, LCSW–R, DCSW