Like many professions during this pandemic, marriage and individual therapy has had to adapt in order to continue. Fortunately, it’s easier to adapt this kind of therapy than something like massage therapy: “Now leaning against the corner of the kitchen counter, press against it slowly moving up while rolling down the bottle of ketchup.” That’s probably not how you massage yourself, but everything is better with ketchup (there’s a 30% chance that’s not true). As many marriage and individual therapists are finding, technology is a wonderful gift during times like these for allowing our practices to continue as we help people navigate through the typical household struggles, which are all the more apparent in isolation.
Over the next month (or however long isolation will be encouraged), families will likely encounter levels of connection and anger for each other they’ve never before experienced. For those who experience the latter, signing up for therapy can be a great option – it’s definitely better than taking up youtube boxing lessons.
When our office first switched to online sessions, many clients initially chose to put therapy on hold because video sessions seemed too weird, but those who gave it a try have been pleasantly surprised how much they’ve liked it. In fact, every one of my clients who tried it has enjoyed it enough to continue with it until they can come in person. Overall, in-person sessions have a nicer feel, but video sessions can be just as effective. More importantly, video conferencing has its advantages over in-person sessions as the following list describes:
1. The therapist can have very flexible hours since we’re not confined to office availability. For instance, I met with a couple at 9:30pm after their kids were in bed.
2. With flexible hours, therapists can have a quicker response time and greater availability.
3. You can do it from the comfort of your own home.
4. Partners and/or children don’t have to be “dragged” to an office.
5. You save time by not having to drive to an office.
6. You save money on gas not having to drive to an office.
7. It’s more convenient for people who would have to find a babysitter or leave work early.
8. There’s no waiting in a lobby.
9. There’s no risk of bumping into anyone you might know.
10. It’s an excuse to clean a corner of your house (or a reason to buy a curtain to hide things behind).
11. You get to see a personal touch of the therapist as you’ll be able to see their working space.
12. You can do your session while waiting for the laundry or while dinner is cooking.
13. It can provide a more relaxed feel as the screen gives you a sense of separation and can help people not be as guarded.
14. It’s an excuse to have time alone. (Sessions are an hour, but you can tell your family it’s three hours, so you can relax for two hours after.)
15. You can choose a therapist from any Bayridge office.
Bonus: If you forget to wear deodorant no one will notice.
Bonus #2: It the therapist forgets to wear deodorant you won’t notice.