Telehealth with Adults: The Ins and Outs

We are living in an unprecedented time.

We are all trying to find some sense of normalcy. For some, this comes in the form of going for daily walks.  For therapists and therapy clients, this comes in the form of meeting virtually, or teletherapy.

Truth be told, teletherapy is our best and safest option right now.

While some therapists are offering limited in person sessions (Champaign Counseling included!), most are doing the majority of their meetings through a video conferencing platform.  Counseling during this pandemic is the same support.  It’s just in a different setting.  This may feel a little weird right now, but it allows everyone to get mental health support without sacrificing physical safety.

After a session or two, it starts to feel just as normal and natural as an in person session.

For adults, many have questions before agreeing to meet virtually:

Is this really necessary, or can we just wait until the dust settles and we can go back to in person meetings?

The answer is we absolutely can. However, having telehealth sessions does not mean you are unable to “handle this on your own”.

Asking for help is a sign of strength.

Meeting with your therapist virtually can provide structure to your day.  It can also give you outside human contact and much needed emotional support.

This is not necessarily about how much you “need” therapy.  But more about wanting guidance, validation, and reassurance during a scary time.  We have adjusted to sheltering in place in other ways.  Think about this as just another adjustment.

Isn’t meeting in person ok?

We are meeting in groups smaller than 10 people. The answer is technically, yes. Mental health services are considered essential, so in person sessions are still allowed. If someone does not have telehealth insurance coverage, for example, a therapist may meet with them in person.

The fact of the matter is there is a risk when you encounter anyone right now, even one on one. Telehealth completely eliminates that risk.

Is this confidential?

That is completely valid. The great thing is there are some wonderful, HIPPA compliant platforms that we at Champaign Counseling use. Our primary goal, as always, is your comfort and safety. This includes confidentiality.  We are doing everything possible to protect your privacy.

As with all cyber communication, there is a risk of hacking. That being said, these platforms are specially designed for therapy. How cool is that?

We recommend you use headphones, and we will do as much as we can to protect your privacy on our end, too.

I’m not very tech savvy, will I be able to figure this out?

If you’re not very tech savvy, we have you covered. If you can use email, you can use telehealth platforms. Your therapist can also talk you through it on the phone.

What happens if I’m in crisis and need emergency services?

You and your therapist will talk about what is clinically appropriate for you. If you need emergency services, we can call them for you.

The important thing at the beginning of every telehealth session is that you tell us where you are and who your emergency contact is. This way, we can help keep you safe if need be. Alternately, we may discuss the possibility of meeting in person. Crisis is one of those reasons in person sessions may be appropriate.

Ultimately, we are experiencing a giant collective trauma right now.

This is a scary and uncertain time for everyone in the world.  Counseling during a pandemic is different, but provides the same support.  Telehealth allows us to help you through this.

If you’re feeling like you might need some additional support right now, call me at 217.203.2008 or email me [email protected] to schedule an appointment.  There are several therapist at Champaign Counseling that are taking new clients now.  Our primary goal is to help you through this.