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Psychology Near Me – and You – And All of Us 

It’s hard sometimes to remember the world before the Covid-19 Pandemic. It’s a bit like trying to remember a time before mobile phones, if you’re old enough. Try to imagine if you aren’t. The world was different back then and we were different along with it. We did things like drive to medical appointments and sit in waiting rooms, reading dog eared magazines. Well…. those days are over! We now have options and accessing health care via telehealth when it’s appropriate for our circumstance, is one of them.

Telehealth actually was around before the pandemic. There has been a slow natural progression happening with technology in health care over the years. The pandemic however accelerated this change in both technology and our behaviour and expectations as health care consumers. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth wasn’t an option that a lot of people would have thought of. Psychologist’s also have had to adapt to this new way of providing therapy.

Thankfully, in today’s digital age, accessing mental health support has never been more convenient. In this blog, we’ll delve into what telehealth psychology is, its benefits, practical considerations, and who can benefit from this innovative approach.

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What is Telehealth Psychology? 

Telehealth psychology, also known as online psychology, involves delivering psychological services remotely using digital communication technologies. Through video calls, phone calls, or messaging platforms, individuals can connect with psychologists from the comfort of their own home or car or wherever they feel the most comfortable to access therapy.

Do Psychologists Need Additional Qualifications for Telehealth Psychology? 

No not additional qualifications as the therapy delivered through telehealth is the same as face to face. It’s just delivered through a different way. Psychologists are highly skilled professionals. Before providing telehealth services psychologists ensure they are familiar with the ethical considerations, technological proficiency, and adapting therapeutic techniques for remote delivery. 

Practical Benefits of Telehealth Psychology 

Telehealth psychology offers numerous practical advantages, including: 

  • Convenience: Access therapy from anywhere with an internet connection. 
  • Flexibility: Schedule appointments that fit your lifestyle without the need for travel. 
  • Accessibility: Overcome barriers such as distance, mobility issues, or transportation constraints. 
  • Privacy: Engage in therapy sessions from the comfort and privacy of your own space. 
  • Increased options in therapists. You are no longer limited to accessing services with therapists in your geographical area.  
  • More relaxing experience: Sometimes face to face therapy can feel overwhelming 

Am I Getting the Same Service as if I Was Face to Face? 

Yes, studies have shown that psychology therapy delivered by telehealth is just as effective as face to face for a number of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and PTSD. Telehealth psychology aims to provide the same level of care and support as traditional face-to-face therapy. Psychologists employ evidence-based practices and therapeutic interventions tailored to your needs, regardless of the mode of delivery. 

Is Telehealth Psychology for Me? 

Telehealth psychology is well-suited for various individuals, including: 

  • Those living in rural or remote areas with limited access to mental health services. 
  • Individuals with mobility issues or disabilities that make travel challenging. 
  • Busy professionals or parents who struggle to find time for in-person appointments. 
  • Individuals seeking anonymity or preferring the comfort of their own environment. 

When Is It Best for Me to See a Psychologist Face to Face? 

While telehealth psychology offers convenience, there are situations where face-to-face sessions may be preferable. For example if you do not have access to a private space or the technological equipment for telehealth, then face to face may be a preferred option.  

There may also be other factors specific to your therapy requirements that will determine that face to face therapy is a more suitable option. There are no one size fits all rules with this as everyone is different. Your psychologist will be able to advise if face to face is the best for you. 

What Equipment Will I Need? 

To participate in telehealth sessions you will need: 

  • Access to internet 
  • A device with a camera (computer, laptop, smartphone or ipad) 
  • Headphones (not necessary but they can help with cutting out background noise) 

Telehealth PsychologyHow to Prepare for the Sessions 

When engaging in telehealth psychology, remember this is your time and your space. You get to create the therapy environment that will be best work for you. 

  • Ensure a private and quiet environment for sessions. You will want to ensure you are in a space that is free from disruptions from other household members including and or especially pets if they can be distracting and demanding of you attention! 
  • Speaking of distractions you will also want to make sure you have turned your phone and other devices to “do not disturb” so you can relax and focus on the session. 
  • Test your technology and internet connection beforehand. Make sure everything is powered up and ready to go. 
  • Think about your lighting, sometimes sitting positioned with window light on your face or a lamp in front can help if you are in a darker room. Also think about your background, your therapist will be able to see your background 
  • Be punctual and respectful of appointment times. 
  • Communicate openly with your psychologist about any concerns or preferences. 

The Time Before and After a Session is Important  

Before the Session it’s a good idea to have your space set up in time to give yourself a few minutes of peace. Use this time to set your intentions and goals for the coming session. If you are feeling a little bit apprehensive, it can also be a good time to try some relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises.  

Immediately After the Session it’s essential to plan to give yourself a bit of space and time to reflect on the discussion and insights gained. Journaling thoughts and emotions experienced during the session can aid in processing and retaining information. Engaging in self-care activities such as going for a walk, practicing hobbies, or spending time with loved ones can help in transitioning back to everyday life

Will It Be Harder for Me to Establish Rapport? 

Establishing rapport in telehealth psychology is entirely feasible with effective communication and engagement strategies. Psychologists are trained to build rapport and create a supportive therapeutic alliance regardless of the mode of delivery. 

Communicating over video can also at times help with building rapport as it can feel less confronting and therefore you may find yourself being able to communicate more openly. 

It’s also helpful to remember that when communicating over technology we sometimes need to vocalise our thoughts more. This is because it can be harder to communicate with non-verbal cues over technology. This is no different to when we are talking with family and friends over video or phone. 

In conclusion, telehealth psychology represents a transformative approach to mental health care delivery, offering convenience, accessibility, and flexibility to individuals seeking support. Whether you’re in a remote area, facing mobility challenges, or simply prefer the comfort of home, telepsychology empowers you to embark on a journey of healing and self-discovery, one virtual session at a time. 

 

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