With COVID-19 shaking up all our lives, it’s more important than ever to take care of your mental health. If you’ve been putting off going to therapy for a while, now is the best time to start – because during self-isolation, psychologists are offering free or heavily rebated video counselling sessions that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
This is called telehealth, and it lets you connect with a mental health professional by video chat or phone call. Whether you’ve previously gone to therapy or not, here are five reasons why video counselling is better than in-person support.
1. Video counselling works and people love it
The most important thing, right? Telehealth is an effective and enjoyable way to get to your mental health goals. Here’s what Hamada Els, Principal Clinical Psychologist & Executive Coach at The Centre for Professional Wellbeing, told us:
I’ve been running video sessions with about half my clients now over the last few weeks and clients are greatly enjoying them. Research shows that video and face to face sessions are equally effective.Hamada Els, Principal Clinical Psychologist & Executive Coach at The Centre for Professional Wellbeing
Now you know that video counselling is just as effective as in-person counselling, read on for reasons why it can be even better!
2. There’s no commute
For some people, the location of their nearest psychologist can make therapy difficult or inconvenient to access. With telehealth, however, you can avoid the commute altogether by getting the help you need from the comfort of your own home. This is particularly great for people who live in remote areas, use public transport to get around or who simply don’t have the time to travel to and from therapy.
For telehealth, all you need is a quiet, private space in order to conduct your therapy session. This could be anywhere from your bedroom to your backyard – it’s completely up to you!
3. Have your video counselling session outdoors
If sitting in a stuffy therapist’s office for 50 minutes doesn’t motivate you to book an appointment, the idea of taking a walk around your favourite park or sitting in your own backyard might. With telehealth, you can choose where to do your session, so why not choose a calming, green space?
Research has shown that immersing yourself in nature is a great way to improve mental health. Green spaces can reduce stress, lower anxiety and lift your mood – making it perhaps the perfect location for you to work on your mental health.
“To maximise the effectiveness of video sessions, it’s important to ensure you have adequate privacy and your internet connection is reliable,” Els told us. So if privacy at home is an issue for you, like it is for a lot of us, why not use your phone or data plan and take it outside?
4. No motivation? No worries
When you’re struggling with your mental health, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to get dressed, get in the car or catch a bus to your therapist’s office. However, with telehealth, you don’t need to do any of these things. You can sit in your pyjamas in your house and still get the support you need. We know that therapy can sometimes seem daunting, so this approach is a great way to ease into the process!
5. Video therapy can work around your schedule
If you’ve ever told yourself that you don’t have the time to go to therapy, telehealth can make it easier to fit an appointment in your schedule. You can have your appointment during your lunch break, straight after you finish work or even while you’re taking your daily walk.
By organising your session to work with other responsibilities and priorities, you can make sure you get the help you need without changing your schedule.
Pro tip: different timezones work in your favour here. After hours appointments have always been sought-after and hard to get. Now with telehealth, your psychologist can be in a different timezone, so your after-hours might be their business hours!