Teletherapy

By Sherry Duson, M.A. Director of The Center for Postpartum Family Health

Change is hard, and the current coronavirus pandemic has forced change upon us quicker than many of us could imagine. But there are opportunities that have come from us being forced to adjust our ways of doing things, opportunities that show us that different can be even better than what we did before.

Doing teletherapy is one of the ways we have all been forced to adjust. Attending to mental health care through a virtual video conference rather than sitting in an office is a challenge we all had to meet with very little preparation.  So, is it working? For the most part, for the therapists at The Center for Postpartum Family Health, the answer is a resounding yes.  The following list are some ways we have found that teletherapy is a good, and may be an even better option for new mothers and families with small children.

#1. Depression is a lot of things and is different for everyone, but one of the main things it can do is suck your energy, making it feel impossible to accomplish tasks.  Teletherapy is one way to remove the barriers to therapy that involve having to plan, get ready, pack, drive and concentrate on finding your way around town and to an office.  The office is your house, and all you need is a quiet place with a decent internet connection, and a device to access the web. Teletherapy cuts through many of the barriers that come with depression and other logistics that keep people from seeking help.

#2. Teletherapy is safer for concerns about germs and viruses.  Many new babies need to stay indoors for the first few weeks. If mom is suffering, it may make it hard to come out to a therapist’s office when there are concerns for childcare and contamination.  Teletherapy greatly reduced that risk by allowing you to stay in your home, and be able to keep your baby in a safe environment.

#3. You can be yourself in your home. Sometimes meeting with a therapist for the first time in a strange place can feel very nerve-wracking. The comfort of your home can help put you at ease and be more open and honest with your therapist.  It is also a way to include helpful family members if it is determined that their input is needed.  Scheduling a therapy session for multiple members of a household can be a huge difficulty.  Being able to see them all virtually through teletherapy can save a lot of time and get everyone on the same page for whatever changes need to be addressed.

#4. Scheduling can be a bit more flexible when you are seeing your therapist from home. Without having to work around drive time for both you and your therapist, it may be easier to make or reschedule appointments as unexpected emergencies come up. (And there are always unexpected issues with new babies!) Even after someone returns to work, it can be easier to keep your therapy appointment if you are able to access it from an office and work, or during your lunch break.  Working parents need flexibility, and teletherapy offers a lot more of it than traditional office appointments.

#5. It creates self-care for a busy, exhausted parent in the midst of them doing the hard work of caring for little ones.  It can be challenging for a new parent to make time for herself, much less make an appointment for a massage, or pedicure or some other self-care activity and actually get there.  With teletherapy, a new mother can access care for herself by having a therapy session at home, and never have to leave the house. Granted some of us want to leave the house, but with teletherapy, you can access it anywhere. So, if you can get a good internet connection in your car, your closet, a friend’s house or a park, teletherapy can meet you wherever you are. 

#6. It can be accessed from anywhere in the state where the therapist is licensed. That means that anyone in Texas can see one of the highly-trained, perinatal mental health specialists at The Center for Postpartum Family Health.  Texas is a big state, and there are many counties in Texas that have little or no mental health care available. Living far away from Houston is no longer a barrier to getting help at CPFH.  All mothers in Texas are encouraged to call and see what teletherapy has to offer them.

All of these advantages lead us to wonder, is teletherapy actually the better way for new moms to get their mental health needs met? Maybe even after the pandemic is over, it will emerge as the gold-standard for mother’s taking care of themselves and getting the help they need when facing pregnancy or postpartum depression and anxiety disorders, processing trauma, or learning to adjust to major life changes.  The stress of new motherhood is great, the stress of new motherhood during a pandemic or any other natural disaster is amplified to the point that everyone could probably use a therapeutic conversation to help cope.  Teletherapy is the way to meet that need with competent, professional care, for anyone who might need it. If you have questions, or would like to discuss setting up an appointment for teletherapy, please call our receptionist at 713.561.3884 or email info@CPFH.org.

See our website for more details. www.cpfh.org

Speak Your Mind

*



3418 Mercer #100
Houston, TX 77027

Centerforppfh@yahoo.com
(713) 561-3884

Got Questions?
Send a Message!