Virtual Visits: The Changing Face of Healthcare
This is an obvious benefit. You only have an hour for lunch? You’re not sure how to fit in therapy between taking the kids to soccer practice and making dinner? Can’t find a therapist with evening hours? No problem! (And, also no drive time and no gas money!) Telehealth allows both you and your virtual therapist flexibility to meet where and when you need to, while also ensuring your privacy.
Even prior to insurance companies’ response to cover remote services during the public health crisis of COVID-19, insurance had been leaning in the direction of covering virtual healthcare services. Therapy is no different! In fact, there are some insurance companies that will cover telehealth in full, with no cost to the client, whereas they would still require a deductible and/or copay to be paid if those same services occurred in-person.
Beyond the convenience factor and the benefit of insurance coverage, telehealth can offer creativity and a sense of empowerment that traditional in-person therapy simply cannot offer. We hope that you view your involvement in therapy as a practice of self-care. As an illustration of this, we often have clients who elect to get creative with where they meet – such as taking a walk in nature to ground themselves as they talk, parking with their partner in the car at their favorite park before they “make a night of it” after therapy with a “date night.” For you and your therapist, as long as we help ensure your privacy (because that matters to us, too!), the sky is the limit! The constraints of traditional in-person therapy have been lifted! And, frankly, that’s exciting to us!
The reality, however, is that telehealth may not necessarily be an opportunity for more active self-care. It may, instead, just be a necessity. If you are not able to leave your home due to your physical or mental abilities or just simply don’t want to get out of bed that day, your therapist can be there to support you no matter what. Pet your dog. Hold your favorite blanket. Be in your own space. We can be there with you, too.
We find that, when people are in their own space or are getting creative with things like taking a private walk to ground themselves as they talk to their therapist, people have more capacity to be open. You feel comfortable at home, in your car, or in whatever private place you are in. And, this can allow for deeper growth and connection.
Not only can this sense of comfort in your own space be encouraging of deeper connection and growth, but to work with a virtual therapist means that you also see (literally!) into a bit of their lives, as well. We have found that this helps with the recognition that therapists are people, too. We all have similar struggles as we all are just working to do the best that we can. And, with that change in relationship from your therapist being an intimidating “expert” to simply another person here to hold space for your growth, change happens! No jargon. No diplomas on the wall. Just person-to-person; heart-to-heart; soul-to-soul interaction.
Because we are human, too, telehealth provides our team with the ability to manage home life, physical limitations, familial obligations, and general self-care in a new way. Our therapists offer virtual visits because, like you, they care about taking care of themselves. Telehealth happens to be how they do it. And, we all want to have a therapist, whether in-person or virtual, who is practicing what they preach and actively caring for themselves. Well therapists do good work. And, that’s what we seek to offer!
Encourages Your Self-Care
Because our telehealth therapists are modeling self-care with the way they provide services, telehealth can be a great reminder of giving yourself permission to be able to offer only what you can. Logistically, your job may not be able to offer you additional time off. Maybe you have a hard time making time for yourself. Maybe you have chronic pain or health issues that make it difficult to attending things consistently. Regardless of your situation, telehealth allows you to get the support you need even despite complicated factors in your life. And, we think that’s a good thing!
This ability to be flexible with when and how you meet with your therapist also means that you have greater-than-normal access to your therapist. Yes, we practice self-care as your therapists and have certain business hours, but we also have the freedom to schedule a crisis session immediately or see you consistently on weekends. Because telehealth visits make it easy on us and you, we are eager to offer the support that meets your needs.
No Geographical Limitations
If you feel passionate about seeing one of our virtual therapists because of their specialties but live in another part of Michigan, geography doesn’t have to be a limitation anymore. Some of our specific specialties, like counseling Highly Sensitive People/Empaths and holistic healing, are so specialized that there aren’t many other therapists to whom we could refer you for such a desired focus. So, whether you are looking for a therapist well-versed in grief and loss or one who is highly specialized in women’s issues related to managing the pain of something like Endometriosis, your support is here.
Supported by Research
While we admit it may seem strange to work to make an intimate emotional connection with someone through a screen or with a phone call, research shows that telehealth and virtual visits are just as effective (or, as we’ve seen, even more effective!) as in-person visits. This is the case even for people actively in crisis or who are psychotic. Of course, virtual visits don’t work for everyone and that’s okay. But, the reality is…
It’s the Way of the Future!
We have seen a trend toward virtual learning and virtual doctor visits. And, while telehealth may not be ideal for some, it is here to stay. Even Medicaid and Medicare have stated they plan to cover such services indefinitely. So, while we’re in the same boat as you as not wanting to be even more dependent on technology than we already are, we may as well use it to our benefit. And, why not try it to help support your mental health? You can always change your mind about whether it is the best option for you.