Telehealth has become the new model for therapy since the pandemic of 2020. At first, I couldn’t conceive of it as being an effective model for therapy but then I realized flexibility is essential so that the clients can opt into therapy.
There is nothing easy about living through a pandemic. The hardest of all things is adapting continually, having to adjust to new clients, ideas, new ways of billing, and fear. Yes, the therapist has the same fears the clients have. We were all afraid in the beginning trying to find our footing in a world without being able to see friends and family or our workplace. How does one work from home after 50 years of being in a workplace surrounded by cohorts? It’s not easy!
It was a scramble but within 24 hours I was up and running with ZOOM. Never heard of it but there I was Zooming for the first time, finding a new creative twist to therapy from a remote platform. A year and a few months later it still works. However, I know there are clients who want in-person therapy, and believe me, so do I.
After much introspection, I have come to the conclusion that both systems work. We can be effective online in a telehealth setup as well as a live therapy setting. However, as a speech pathologist, a live setting is preferable. The next issue related to the pandemic is the vaccine. I have received my vaccinations but I would hope that my clients and their families would appreciate the importance of protecting those around us and do the same.
With telehealth, I have found new confidence in therapy since Covid. I have discovered a way to utilize materials from my home and client’s homes as pieces of therapy. I now use the art in my home as a way to entice language from the children I work with as well as the gardens they have at their homes as a therapy tool.
With telehealth, there is a closeness that comes from bringing your clients into a different workspace and having you enter theirs. Barriers break down and an openness that didn’t exist before enters your therapy world.