By Crossroads Therapist Travis Frye
This just in: Governor Ducey announced the stay at home quarantine will now be until May. No. This is not an April Fool’s joke. This is the reality for all Arizonians (or is it Arizonans?) The next month we will be socially distancing. We will be limiting our contact with the outside world for only essential purposes. We are alone together for at least another month.
Now what? What do we do with this new reality? What about those of you who are really struggling with the emotional and mental aspects of isolation. (Let’s be honest-who isn’t experiencing some form of distress, anxiety, or depression.) Nearly everyone is anxious about the impact the virus has had on health and finances. Many have experienced feelings of grief and loss due to what the virus has taken away. Some of you might be angry and disillusioned. Yet others may be feeling depressed, sad, and lonely.
I’m with you! I have experienced all of these emotions too. It took me a little while to calm down and realize that during this time, more than any other time before, how much I need the support and care of others. I can’t navigate this on my own. Neither can you.
In addition to reaching to those that are closest to me, such as my wife and community, I also reached out to my own counselor for help. Since I cannot meet with my counselor in person we chose to meet virtually. I admit I was skeptical about online therapy. After all, I like being in the same room with my counselor and with my own clients. I wasn’t sure if online counseling would provide me with what I needed from the session. However, I have been pleasantly surprised with how online therapy has allowed the important process of communicating thoughts, feelings, and needs resulting in experiencing relief from all of the heaviness.
Still don’t believe me? There have been studies on the efficacy of online therapy. For example, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online cognitive behavioral therapy is “effective, acceptable, and practical health care.” A 2014 study in Behaviour Research and Therapy found that online therapy was effective in treating anxiety disorders.
I have experienced firsthand how online counseling has helped me to move from a place of fear into faith. Faith that even in the midst of the suffering we are not alone. Faith that there is hope. Faith that there are people choosing to do good and be good during this pandemic. Faith that even in the midst of all this God is still with us.
I have worked with many of my own clients virtually now for about 3 weeks and continue to be impressed with how helpful and effective our online therapy sessions have been. Perhaps most surprisingly is how I have been able to conduct couples therapy sessions virtually. Many of my couples have been able to continue working on their relationships and experience growth even with being quarantined together.
When this began a few weeks ago, I thought I would wait to see my therapist until it blew over. I thought I could handle it all on my own. I was wrong. My encouragement to you today is to reach out for help sooner rather than later. You don’t have to go through this alone. You don’t have to live in fear. There are people who care and there is faith, hope, and love even in this time of darkness.
If you would like to learn more about our online counseling (we also offer phone therapy sessions) please call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the advantages of choosing online therapy at Crossroads is that once the pandemic is over you can meet with your therapist in office since we are local with locations in Phoenix, Anthem, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale.