NEED RELIEF FROM THE OVERWHELM BUT CAN’T LEAVE YOUR HOME?
We’re in the midst of the largest pandemic most living people have ever seen – coronavirus or COVID-19. And while it’s difficult, you’re continuing to do your part to keep our “curve” flattened. You’re following Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Public Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton’s “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory” – wearing a mask when out in public, washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, working from home when possible, limiting grocery store trips, making responsible decisions about outings to local Columbus, Ohio restaurants and retail establishments. You’re still generally just…staying at home.
THIS NEW NORMAL AFFECTS OUR MENTAL HEALTH
But while you think you’re doing the right things, this coronavirus public health crisis is taking its toll on your mental health. If life wasn’t hard enough, this situation we’ve been thrown into so quickly has us all feeling the stress of our new normal. And when the duration of this new normal is unknown, it’s understandable that it would impact our mental health. It all seems so surreal as we see each other wearing masks, watch as kids end the school year on video and grieve the summer plans that are now cancelled. This all may have you feeling anxious, stressed, exhausted from being “on” all the time for your kids, angry, sad, heartbroken, afraid, depressed and fully overwhelmed. Please know that while we’re ALL learning what our new normal looks like, the feelings you’re experiencing as a reaction to it are completely normal, common and expected in a time like this.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
How do you talk about COVID-19 with your children and be real while also making them feel safe when everything you hear and read feels so uncertain? How do you homeschool when you’re not a teacher? How do you work from home with the rest of your family there too? How do you keep everyone engaged with something other than a screen? How do you deal with the stress of still having to go to work? How do you keep your teens home and make them understand the importance of the choices they make now? How do you cope if you’re a front line healthcare worker? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, you’re not alone. So many of us are struggling but trying to hold it together for our families.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE CONTINUES WITH ONLINE THERAPY
Many businesses are shut down in Ohio in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to increase physical/social distancing. One silver lining in all of this chaos is that mental health care, at a time when it is so desperately needed, is able to continue. Dealing with this situation in 2020 allows us to have technology on our side, and online therapy – sometimes called online counseling, telehealth, telemental health or distance counseling – is an effective option with several benefits that allows Blue Boat Counseling to remain open and continue to be here for our clients.
HOW DOES ONLINE COUNSELING WORK?
Blue Boat Counseling has mental health therapists licensed in the state of Ohio; therefore, we can only see clients who live in the state of Ohio. But you do not have to live in the Columbus, Ohio area (where our office is located) to receive online treatment from us.
We consider online therapy to be video sessions and, in some cases where video isn’t an option, sessions by phone. Online therapy services are offered by computer – laptop or desktop – with camera capabilities or an app on your phone, and your counselor will walk you through the steps to get started.
We ask that you try to approach online counseling as if you were going to see your therapist in the office. Make sure you have a private space – keep kids and pets safe in another room. Turn off distractions, like music, TV and notifications on your phone. Use headphones if you have them, and a white noise machine or app can also help to put just outside your door for an extra layer of privacy.
WE KNOW THERE ARE STILL CONCERNS ABOUT STARTING ONLINE THERAPY.
Does online counseling work?
Yes! Many studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of online therapy, including direct comparisons of telemental health care to conventional mental health care and testing how well Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be delivered via online methods. These studies conclude that, while online counseling may not be appropriate for everyone (like those with severe forms of mental illness), it is a highly effective option that gives therapists more tools in their toolbox for delivering the best mental health care possible. And the counselors at Blue Boat Counseling have training in telemental health and introducing it to clients.
I’m still concerned about my privacy.
We know privacy is a real concern with online therapy. As mentioned above, there are several measures you can take to ensure you’re in a private environment, and we can assure you our online therapists are taking the same precautions to treat your session as much like an in-office visit as possible. And in many cases, your counselor is in their office setting seeing you in your virtual one.
We also understand there can be concern about online platforms. Online therapy is typically only delivered through platforms designed for this purpose. However, during the COVID-19 health crisis, telehealth providers in the state of Ohio have been asked to spread the bandwidth, so to speak, by also using other, more common options, such as FaceTime, which you may see other mental health care practices using. At Blue Boat Counseling we use a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform through our communication system, so you can be sure your therapy sessions are private. Your counselor will provide information and the easy steps to get started.
I’m worried it’s just not the same as in-person therapy.
Your concern is valid because online therapy is not exactly the same as in-person counseling. There may be a technology hiccup or family noise throughout your house. But there are also many benefits to online therapy, like getting a break that you really need right now to talk through your cabin fever or on a deeper level, get treatment for anxiety or depression symptoms. It’s also convenient, and unlike many things right now, the fact that you can still “go” during these stressful and uncertain times is a huge benefit.
We know you’re overwhelmed and trying to keep it together for your family. Online therapy offers you a release in the middle of the chaos. Blue Boat Counseling’s online therapists provide a safe outlet during this stressful time. You can fall apart with us. You’re not alone. We’re here to support you.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ONLINE THERAPY…
- Get in touch with Blue Boat Counseling to request an appointment.
- Get connected following your therapist’s instructions.
- Find relief from the overwhelm.