Telehealth/ Online Therapy in California: a way to stay connected during coronavirus
One of my specialties is treating anxiety in teens and adults. My work has always focused on how to help people decrease overwhelm in their lives and build structure and interconnectedness with others. This perhaps more important now than ever. By doing telehealth/ online counseling in California during coronavirus, I am trying to reach those struggling with isolation, panic, fear, and depression. As a licensed CA psychologist, I am able to provide telehealth for anyone in California. In fact, online therapy has always been an essential part of my practice for reaching clients in more rural parts of California that have a far drive to the office.
By now, you have probably heard of telehealth, as most doctors, therapists, as other health professionals are practicing this way during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Telehealth refers to any type of remote medicine or healthcare. Most people will logon to a videoconference with their therapist. For online therapy (available to anyone in California during the coronavirus pandemic), I use a great software that you download once, then enter a conference code. The picture and sound quality is excellent. However, you can talk to your therapist by phone if you prefer. This might be a better choice for people who have a lack of privacy in their home, as they can take a walk or go into their car to talk.
How will telehealth/online counseling hope me cope during the cornavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
When you are home all day long, it’s easy to get stuck in your head and stuck in some very negative thinking patterns. Challenging those negative thoughts and breaking out of them with a fresh perspective can make a big difference. Here’s how it works:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Telehealth Style
The concept behind this online therapy is that our thoughts affect our feelings and our moods! If we change the way we think about something, we will in turn be able to change our mood. Let’s take an over-simplified example. Right now, I might feel very depressed because I am trapped in my house. I have no choices, no options. I just have to sit here all day. Is there any other way to view this? Do I have ANY options? Well, actually, I do have a few options. I can go on a walk. I can go to the store and buy items I need. I can call my family members. I am not totally helpless and this will not go on for the rest of my life. These are some very basic thought challenges. In our online therapy, I will guide you through more advanced ways of getting “out of your head” and into other ways of perceiving things to help you get “unstuck.” Learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy.
The importance of routine
Right now, may of us have fallen out of our typical daily routines, as we are not going into work and our children are not going into school. We can’t go to the gym or to many stores. This lack of routine leads to a further feeling of chaos and disorientation. When doing telehealth/ online counseling in California during coronavirus, I try to focus on what you can do to create sense of normalcy in your life once again. If you are not going to bed and getting up at a regular time every day, start there. I would recommend that you not sleep in too late, as throwing off your circadian rhythm can trigger depression. Next, think of your day as “chunks.” There is a morning chunk, early afternoon, late afternoon, and post-dinner. If you segment your day this way, it is easier to block off activities to do during each segment. Try to keep it consistent. Maybe the morning is for work-related tasks. Maybe early afternoon you will be working with your children on some educational-related activities. Perhaps late afternoon is for a walk or other exercise. In fact, research shows that regular cardio exercise helps combat depression.
Can I try telehealth?
Sure! Some people are understandably hesitant to try something new. Feel free to get in touch and you can try a 10 min session. I hope that trying telehealth/ online counseling will help you cope during this difficult time dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.