7 Reasons Why Getting Teletherapy Is Better Than Going It Alone
Life In The Time Of Covid-19
By: Mary Spilsbury, MFT
Normalizing The Experience
Extended isolation can lead to believing that one is “alone” in a more existential sense. It can make us feel guilty or racked with shame for not having accomplished all that we would have been doing during more “normal” times. Talking to a therapist can alleviate this suffering. The therapist will be able to remind you that everyone (who is fortunate enough to not be working on the front lines of this pandemic) is staying home more often than not. They will remind you that you are doing something “good” rather than something “bad”. Your therapist will be able to normalize your reaction to a very abnormal time in our world’s history, which can be incredibly comforting.
Having another person to talk with provides a sense of belonging. It offers a way to feel our own true identity , if even through differences from another. In therapy one is asked to challenge themselves and their therapist. If the therapist provides a reflection that isn’t quite right the client is encouraged to make corrections, to clarify their specific lived experiences.
Reflection of Growth Through Difficult Times
Seeing a therapist during periods of isolation can help you create mile markers, however small, in a time when otherwise you might not notice and celebrate your day to day growth. A Therapist is there to reflect that you made it through a financial downswing, or an emotional challenge, or even a positive experience like the birth of a child. Therapists place a mile marker for you and refer back to those mile markers to help you see that each day is different, with new challenges to over come, new successes to celebrate, and new hope to embrace.
Guards Against Loneliness
The physical and emotional impacts of loneliness can have long lasting results. Studies have shown that that loneliness in the short term can lead to poor sleep cycles, increased depressive symptoms, increased anxiety and decreased reasoning and creative focus. Loneliness in the long term ( as seen with Covid -19) can put people at higher risk for cardiovascular problems and even alter our gene expressions.
Humor in Therapy
Humor is key in tough times. Hopefully your therapist can bring humor into the session. Laughter is imperative in therapy! A good laugh doesn’t just make things lighter it also changes your physical body. Laughter increases your oxygen intake, which stimulates heart, lungs, and muscles. Having a good laugh releases endorphins in the brain which make you feel happier on a more consistent basis. Laughter also soothes a stress response and punches your heart rate up and then calms it down for a nice relaxed feeling afterward. So laugh with your therapist, even if it’s over Zoom it will help!
First Thing On The Calendar
Having one or two set therapy appointments throughout the week provides you with an anchor. Having these dates scheduled is beneficial because it is a time set aside just for you, no one else. Self Care is so important during this stressful time. But it also provides structure in your schedule, which might otherwise seem like groundhog day. In addition, while working with your therapist a great goal would be to create a routine (i.e. get up, meditate, exercise, email, garden, eat well, reach out to a friend or family member, get to sleep on time, etc). Having routine has been shown to increase focus, decrease stress, decrease depression, improve sleep. So make an appointment today and get back on track!
Creativity Grows With Connection and Collaboration
Creativity is such a healing force. We all have some degree of creativity in us. Whether it presents through art, music, dance, theater, we all have something. Therapy offers a chance to explore how one might tap into that creative spirit. It has been studied that engaging in creative outlets can lessen the stress response in the body, and open up new areas of insight. Sometimes therapy starts the creative juices flowing through reflection. Other times reflection and exploration are used to light the wick. Wile other types of therapy offer a more directive stance, utilizing principles of art therapy, music therapy and the like. All of these avenues can be explored via teletherapy. So, it’s a good idea to find a therapist who has experience working with the imaginal and creative realms. Have fun and grow!
All of this to say that therapy is always helpful, even if done in the comfort of your own home.