Could you do this from your home?
Whether you’re crushing candies or crushing goals, your smartphone plays a monumental role in your day-to-day life. While you likely use your device for work or recreation, or maybe both, it may also be able to help you with self-care.
“Telepsychiatry, often called ‘telepsych,’ is a great way to connect with a therapist from anywhere you find most convenient and comfortable via video conferencing,” says Dr. Sonea Mahboob, a psychiatrist at Aurora Behavioral Health Center in Oshkosh, Wis. “Most people put off seeking therapy for various reasons, but one is that they just don’t have time. With telepsych, hours are usually more flexible, and you can do it from wherever you like.”
Dealing with PTSD, depression, ADHD, stress, anxiety, trauma or just want somebody to talk to? You should ask a physician if telepsychiatry might work for you. It could be a way to combat these common barriers to receiving therapy.
You aren’t sure you even need therapy.
“Even if there is nothing directly wrong in your life, you can still use therapy. In fact, we all could use therapy to our benefit,” Dr. Mahboob says.
You have a hard time opening up emotionally.
Keep in mind you’re not alone in whatever you’re facing. Where a person lives, where they work, what they wear and how they act are not indicators of what they’re going through or what they’ve been through. A therapist is there to listen, not pass judgment.
You are worried about the stigma of being a therapy-goer.
“Going to therapy is now more widely accepted today than any other time in history,” Dr. Mahboob says. “But if it still bothers you, telepsychiatry allows you to engage in therapy privately.”
You think therapy is too expensive.
A call to your insurance provider will tell you which health care providers are covered and what copays you may have. Also, many employers offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which often includes free therapy sessions. Check with your employer to see if telepsychiatry is an option for EAP counseling.
You don’t live near a therapy location.
Telepsychiatry is therapy at a distance. All you need to bring to your appointment is you, an Internet connection and your video-capable smartphone or tablet.
You don’t know what to expect.
Think of going to therapy like meeting a good friend for coffee. They care about how you’re doing, what you’re feeling and genuinely want to help you understand a circumstance and yourself better. “Your therapist will likely ask you for your personal history, and if there’s a situation you’d like to talk about, they’ll ask about that, too,” says Dr. Mahboob. “They’ll probably ask why you decided to seek therapy. No answer is wrong; you can even say something like, ‘I just wanted somebody to talk to.’ The key is to be as open and honest as you possibly can be.”
About the Author
Brianna Wunsch, health enews contributor, is a public affairs specialist for Advocate Aurora Health with a BA in public affairs from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. In her free time, Brianna enjoys living an active lifestyle through biking, hiking and working out at the gym, but even more than that, she especially loves spending quality time with her two cats (Arthur and Loki), son and husband.