Article Updated 6/29/2021
I am more stressed than ever... Can I get therapy? Do I get tele-therapy? Can I still have in-office sessions?
Stress Compounded. Life is complicated...with stressors, losses, unresolved dysfunctional family dynamics, ongoing anxiety and depression, feeling at a loss of direction, relationship issues and even traumas. Normally, this is just the tip of the iceberg of issues that bring people into counseling. Now, add in the pandemic, with not only a whole new plethora of stressors, but also hurdles about the safety of social contact and of “Business as usual”... we now have a pressure cooker of challenges, including is it safe to go to therapy?
Therapy is still an option and thankfully, there are choices. Therapists are some of the helpers in society who help with the invisible wounds and concerns that result from hardships. When concerns about Covid-19 hit, we acted to protect our clients and adapted to teletherapy overnight and started meeting with clients over phones and computers. Behind the scenes, we adapted quickly to become comfortable and proficient with teletherapy options, including using HIPAA-compliant platforms to secure online confidentiality. Clients have found teletherapy to be comfortable and helpful. Also, we have adapted in-office health-safety practices as some of our therapists have returned to in-office service with their clients.
The good news is that state legislation and most insurance companies have amended their coverage to include telehealth and teletherapy as covered treatments. Of course, there is a lot of variability in policy coverages – it’s always imperative for people to contact their insurance companies directly to find out specifics about their coverage/plan.
Perhaps you’re reading this article because you’re interested in getting therapy and wondering what your options are at this time. At Beverly Therapists, most of our therapists are providing telehealth services. Teletherapy has quickly become a primary modality for therapy at this time, allowing us to help people tend to their mental health concerns while accommodating for their physical well-being concerns as well.
Additionally, some of our therapists continue to provide in-office sessions to accommodate those who would best benefit by an in-person counseling option. This article is intended to help you consider if teletherapy or in-office services might be the best option for you or your loved ones. This is just the starting point, we encourage you to have a thoughtful conversation with your therapist or potential therapist to decide on the best approach for you.
What does in-office therapy look like currently? If in-office therapy seems like the right fit to you and your therapist, we will lead you in our “safety first, socially distant style” of therapy:
With our waiting rooms closed, your therapist will ask you to text from your car indicating you are here and waiting.
Your therapist will text you to come on in, greeting you at the door and will handle all doors for you.
We ask that you reschedule your session or switch to a telehealth session if you are symptomatic with covid (or cold) symptoms. We use a no-contact forehead thermometer to scan for fevers at the door.
Both you and your therapist are required to wear your masks in our common areas. Once inside your therapist’s office, you can make the decision together if masks are needed during your session.
Hand sanitizer will be easily accessible both by the entrance, as well as the room where you and your therapist meet.
In each office, we have arranged furniture to maximize distance within the room, while maintaining the secure, confidential, safe environment that distinguishes therapy.
As a group, we at Beverly Therapists are committed to following best practices to keep everyone as safe as possible, and we will keep updating our practices following CDC’s most recent guidelines.
We hope that this article is helpful in normalizing counseling today. Help is here for stressors you are experiencing. Please talk to any of our therapists to discuss how teletherapy or in-office therapy can work for you. To schedule new services, contact any of our therapists directly per their profile page or call our main number at 773-310-3488.
Learn more about the author of this article: Lisa Catania, MSW, LCSW