We live in a rapidly changing world and the San Francisco Bay Area sometimes feels like the epicenter of this swirling transformation. An ever expanding Silicon Valley, a new tech firm popping up every week, and novel telecommunications technologies to master on a daily basis. The very basis of how we communicate is being altered faster than we can tweet a status update or take a picture via snapchat.
It is exciting and invigorating to be a part this creative life-altering wave. And for some it can be downright exhausting, right?
Enter stage left: Teletherapy.
I truly believe that I too have to be on the cutting edge of these changes as a marriage family therapist. I have increasingly come to see providing access to best-in-practice teletherapy as centrally important to how I use my psychotherapy skills in service of enriching my community’s quality of life. After all, so many of my Bay Area and California wide client’s already inhabit tech saturated social, cultural, and work-life spaces.
And, despite all of this, I am amazed at how many people don’t know counseling practices like Psyched In San Francisco even offer teletherapy much less understand what exactly it is. I think a plain and simple intro is in order. How about a quick teletherapy 101 primer? I can’t promise a 140 character limit a la Twitter, but I’ll try my best to be quick!
So what is teletherapy?
Well, simply put teletherapy, alternately referred to as e-therapy or telepsychology, refers to any counseling or psychotherapy facilitated by telecommunications technologies. This includes via phone or video conferencing platforms.
I did that in 33 characters! That was… #shortandsweet
So teletherapy is therapy done interactively from a distance, but there’s got to be more, right?
So How Can It Help Me?
This is where slow and fast can comingle in a harmonious dance. A paradox of our technological age is that, despite all of its conveniences, technology has increased the demands on our time. Our bosses want access to us night and day. Colleagues fire off e-mails at 2 in morning. You might feel the pressure to do likewise.
So where does this leave the time to slow down and attend to one’s own self-care, deepening your relationship with a spouse or partner, or exploring your path toward growth? How can you squeeze in the three hours it takes to leave the office, get to therapy, park, go to therapy, and then get back to the office?
With teletherapy you get to slow down just a bit. Sit in your office or a conference room. Seeking couples counseling? You and your partner can move from conflict to connection right in the comfort of your own bedroom.
No rushed commute to a counseling office. You are already there. Breath. You can fit it in when your schedule allows. You get to slow down.
Let’s move on.
So How Can It Help Me Part 2?
More and more research is finding that psychotherapy engaged via video conferencing or over the phone can be as effective as in-person therapy. People struggling with depression, social anxiety, panic disorders, and substance challenges can benefit from teletherapy.
People also miss fewer appointments. Fewer appointments missed means more traction gained on attaining the goals you want to achieve in your life.
Need some more straight to the point info on teletherapy? Check out Psyched in San Francisco’s Teletherapy link.
So what Next?
Your time is important. The average worker gets upwards of 120 e-mails in their inbox a day. During the time it took you to read this blog how many alerts from your smart phone diverted your attention?
Longing to slow down and dive deeper into your personal growth? Want to enrich your relationship?
The technological turn toward teletherapy might just be a way to get you there.