Telehealth is Trending
Before Dragonfly Delivery was a thing, I was working full-time as a clinical psychologist using a telehealth modality. Back then, people often struggled to get their mind around the mechanics of remote therapy. I’ll admit, I myself was concerned with the viability of this model, especially given that I work in geriatrics. I was unsure how long-term care patients would respond to the technology and how engaged they would be in sessions. In particular, I was concerned about the development of the therapeutic alliance and whether the technology would serve as a barrier to the relationship.
Contrary to my concerns at the outset, I found that the therapeutic alliance was able to be developed because there was no difference between whether I was sitting in the room versus on the screen when it came to the essential elements of a therapeutic alliance: genuine engagement, feeling empathy for the patient, unconditional positive regard and clear communication. We were still able to work on goals together, the same as if I were in the room.
Out of necessity telehealth is now having a moment. People are realizing that there are many benefits that go along with therapy via telehealth. Weather, traffic, or pandemics no longer stand in the way of your weekly session. And when you are in the comfort of your own home, it is often easier to let your guard down. These are hard times. Many people are struggling with adjustment related depression and anxiety as they navigate the new stressors that accompany a pandemic. Part of self-care is knowing when you need additional support. This prolonged health crisis requires all of us to take stock of our psychological wellness, determine our needs, and prioritize our self-care practice.