When the pandemic began, Bob and I weren’t sure how our practice would fare. We wondered:
- Would our clients want to be seen virtually?
- Would online video teletherapy with couples and individuals be effective?
- Would people be able to express vulnerable thoughts and feelings online?
- Would people with children at home be able to find privacy for sessions?
- Would new clients, who never met us, be open to online video teletherapy?
In mid-March 2020 we transitioned our entire practice to Online Video Teletherapy. Turns out the answers to all our questions are a resounding “yes.” Most of our clients continued therapy online with us and feel it is effective. And we have received many new clients (individuals and couples) for relationship and marriage counseling.
For us, it’s been an interesting journey. We’ve adapted to the “new normal” and are finding it effective and beneficial for individuals and couples. Clients have been able to be vulnerable, genuine, connected and open.
Some people have told us they actually prefer it. Here’s why:
Teletherapy is more convenient than coming to the office. There is no rush to get to appointments. No traffic. Less or no need for a babysitter. We even have clients who arranged their sessions during their children’s naptime. Travel and babysitting costs are eliminated.
Clients don’t have to come before or after work. Many have scheduled sessions during the day. Since Bob and I are working from home and have no travel time ourselves, we have more flexibility.
Sessions are much more “on-time.” Paperwork and HIPAA forms are sent ahead of time and there is less time needed at the end of sessions for administrative tasks.
There is more privacy. Clients don’t run into neighbors, colleagues or even family members in the waiting room, something that had occasionally happened before.
It’s been fascinating to see how creative people have been to find privacy at home. Couples and individuals have sessions with us from their bedrooms, their cars, their garages, their backyards, and figured out other ways to create boundaries. And for young couples with babies and toddlers, the kids have become part of the sessions. Bob and I harken back to our younger years when we often did home visits with clients.
Many clients feel more comfortable sharing personal information at home, especially if one partner is reticent to come to therapy or walk into a therapist’s office. For younger adults and those who often use technology, online communication is a no-brainer.
Clients can be seen if they are in two different locations, if one travels for work, or they’re in a long-distance relationship. Or if they are separated and trying to work on getting back together.
Bob and I use a secure HIPAA-compliant telehealth website called Doxy.me to see clients. It is widely used by therapists and is recommended by our national organization, National Association of Social Workers.
Bob and I are delighted that clients have adapted, so we can continue to provide care and support for individuals, relationships, marriages and families.
I found an interesting article about a couple’s experience moving from in-person therapy to virtual couples counseling through the pandemic. Check it out:
You may also want to read our other articles on couples communication in the time of COVID-19:
Your relationship deserves the highest level of support. Relationship Experts, Bob and Lori Hollander are committed to helping individuals and couples build connection and deepen bonds in a world that often makes it difficult.
Call them at 410-363-2825 or email them today, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit Comstock Images on Canva