Virtual/Video/Telehealth Sessions

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whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
A week ago T said they were ending my therapy--that day--bc the agency was shutting down. Blindsided. No warning. T refuses to do video therapy bc I am DID and have been doing very deep work on the torture that started at age 3.

Welcome! And wow...I also have DID and the lack of this kind of support would cause me/us harm, I think. Even now that I'm pretty stable, we really need to *see* him and to know that he is there. Is there a way you can do manage one of the online therapy platforms? Not sure what your financial situation looks like, but I suspect they are pretty affordable. And you could use it as a way to just get some support from someone - it doesn't have to be in-depth trauma work - until you can find someone who is close-by and will work with you online until you can go in. You can just google "online therapy" and you'll get several options.

I'm so glad you found us and hope you continue to post here!

I'm wondering what programs people are using for teletherapy.

Mine uses doxy. It's HIPAA compliant. Seems something that safeguards privacy is the way they should go, but...
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
So...had my first online session today. I had set up everything Saturday with another online meeting (first time ever!) and so was prepared in that respect. It really wasn't awkward at all and I think I felt safer in my own place.

The biggest thing I noticed was that I had trouble feeling anything at all. It was very business-like, even though we talked about stuff. That might be simply because it was the first time, but I'm not sure. And I think avoiding the feeling part of things, while it is not helpful, is often how I wish it were all the time.

Probably not a good habit to revert to.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
So...had my first online session today. I had set up everything Saturday with another online meeting (first time ever!) and so was prepared in that respect. It really wasn't awkward at all and I think I felt safer in my own place.

The biggest thing I noticed was that I had trouble feeling anything at all. It was very business-like, even though we talked about stuff. That might be simply because it was the first time, but I'm not sure. And I think avoiding the feeling part of things, while it is not helpful, is often how I wish it were all the time.

Probably not a good habit to revert to.
It’s just the first time thing, I think. I felt that way and it has been much better since. Today was our third session and we both have improved each time. Like today she was sitting in a pretty part of her house in a nice chair that reminds me of her. Cheerful and kind. I could see more of her. Two times before she was at a desk or table. She offered to let us meet each others pets if I want. I think I’ll do that next time. I’m working on scared child parts so being in her house is soothing all of a sudden. She does a great job with her voice and expressing that she cares. Usually she just mentions my support system. I’ve also changed my set up a little bit to feel less distracted in my bedroom. If I hear any sound outside the door I start to shut down. Today it was the dryer. Last week it was my daughter talking to our dog.
 

Frostheaved

Learning
1. Have you made the transition? Is the idea of virtual sessions too frightening to switch?

Yes, we are doing online therapy for now. I am very averse to video calling, phone calling, etc. It was very scary but I made myself go through it. Fortunately the receptionist who set it up on my end was very nice, and of course my therapist is very nice. The nerves didn't go away, but I remembered to breathe and all that.

2. What makes the sessions hard?

I live with my mom and brother who have both been abusive in the past and from time to time still are, thankfully to a lesser extent now. I live with them because I don't have the resources or help with said resources to be on my own right now. It's not the best situation. Anyways, I don't feel free to say whatever I want to my therapist. I was speaking very quietly to her in session, afraid that someone inflammatory might hear. I'm afraid of being walked in on, as well. My family doesn't know my therapist's identity and I would like it to keep it that way, having learned from when my mom learned of who my first therapist was. My mom does not think of therapy well. I have to make sure that she remains neutral on therapy, otherwise I fear that she would "take away my right" to therapy. It's a difficult situation. There are things I do not say inside this house. Seriously, I can never take a break as long as I live in this house. What with the covid19 self-isolation stuff, and having to stay home and "on guard duty" all the time, it feels like my bad memories have been boarded up somewhere deep inside my mind. I feel like I've been repressing more than usual.

3. What has worked for you if you have made the switch?

I watched my breathing, and I piled a soft blanket on my lap. I always have a stuffed animal nearby, and in my room I'm surrounded by things that comfort me. I've only had one session so far - I've therapy every other week (which seems to be relatively uncommon among those who talk about therapy regularly).
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
@Corkmaster, if you have questions for the moderators or need help, you can click "Contact" up on the menu bar at the top. I'll be happy to offer some ideas if you start a new thread.

Our state just went to "shelter in place," so I can't sit in a car in a park in the middle of nowhere, looking at the trees. I'll need to find a safe place in our house tomorrow. I will be honest with my teenage children--that's usually the easiest path. My son is very sweet and is always concerned about others. I should (and will) tell him that if he here's crying or loud voices, there is nothing wrong.

We use doxy. I like that if my therapist turns off her video, I see a picture of her. Somehow pictures are calming in a way that video is not.
 

Rainman8772

MyPTSD Pro
Had my first therapy session today via FaceTime. Not as bad as I thought it would be unfortunately for the psychologist all he got to see was me walking in the woods with my dog for an hour. I didn’t know he was going to call because the office sent out a text saying all appointments were canceled until further notice. Today I guess was my further notice. Was the same how are you doing and what are you doing while everything is going on. So he got to see about three miles worth of trees and hills and my dog. I don’t really think I get a lot out of the therapy sessions but I may be wrong. I get more from woods/hunting/fishing therapy than talking about how my friends or I got shot or stabbed. Would rather focus on the memories of those things we shared together than how we got hurt or died doing. Could say it’s a bit of avoidance I guess.
 

Ireusa

Confident
@Corkmaster, if you have questions for the moderators or need help, you can click "Contact" up on the menu bar at the top. I'll be happy to offer some ideas if you start a new thread.

Our state just went to "shelter in place," so I can't sit in a car in a park in the middle of nowhere, looking at the trees. I'll need to find a safe place in our house tomorrow. I will be honest with my teenage children--that's usually the easiest path. My son is very sweet and is always concerned about others. I should (and will) tell him that if he here's crying or loud voices, there is nothing wrong.

We use doxy. I like that if my therapist turns off her video, I see a picture of her. Somehow pictures are calming in a way that video is not.
Hey I wanted to let you know that we've been mandatorily at our homes for almost a week now. They're giving warnings and fines if people are out and about just because. But short walks, going to get groceries, going to the dr , etc, are permitted so if you were doing therapy in your car before I believe you can still do it. I am going to still do therapy sessions in my car until they say otherwise.
 

SinkorSwim

MyPTSD Pro
Well I have DID and I will say two weeks before switching to telehealth I made a huge breakthrough. I was able to speak some of my trauma out loud. I have a little child part that is still stuck in the trauma and part of her trauma is she told people they just didn't listen. My therapist does a lot of touch therapy with me to help ground me, she taps my knee or she squeezes my hand. I'm having a really hard time with my child part right now as she is feeling really abandoned again. My therapist feels absolutely terrible and says she is so sorry for the bad timing and really wants to help us in anyway possible. She said that my child part and her can become pen pals and she even said she would be willing to meet at the office and we go on a walk outside and stay 6 feet away from eachother. All I know is it's really hard to function right now and it took me three years to feel safe in her office. I'm praying we can go back to in person meetings as soon as possible. My inner child can't take much more right now and I'm trying to figure out if pen paling or going on a walk but staying 6 feet from eachother would be even worse for my child part.
 

Rainman8772

MyPTSD Pro
This may sound crazy but hey we all are to an extent that’s why we are here. It’s an idea way out there but may work. Go by Home Depot and get a 6 ft wooden dowel that way she can touch you while on the walk and still keep the distance. Feel free to tell me STFU I won’t take it to heart.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I know there are lots and lots of therapists switching to virtual sessions during the pandemic. I expect after this is over, virtual sessions will be popular, especially in under-served areas. But I also know that the idea of virtual sessions really scared me and doing the sessions has been a big challenge.

1. Have you made the transition? Is the idea of virtual sessions too frightening to switch?
2. What makes the sessions hard?
3. What has worked for you if you have made the switch?.
Great threat Wendell.

1. Yes I have made the switch .

2. Ugh. I hate seeing myself. It’s very stressful. I also have had to make some strong boundaries at home to secure some privacy and I am not as comfortable about that. I think for those in vulnerable situations this will be a concern.

I isolate ( outside of the current situation) so seeing my T in person is really healthy for me. I dislike not having that .

Distractions of home. Pets wanting to be in the same room. To leave the room. To make a noise. To go out. To come in .

3. What’s helped.


T and I have agreed to be in the same rooms each week - so there is consistency Of environment

We have a protocol for what happens if lines are dropped - every eventuality is planned

I have good rapport with her already. This would NOT work for me going in cold with a new person.
 

MrMoonlight

MyPTSD Pro
I have also made the switch to telehealth with both my psychiatrist and therapist. We have used both phone and video though I do prefer video sessions because I think physical cues play a roll in communication...knowing when to speak or their ability to see my anxiety/agitation/shame/fear...whatever must also play a roll in their ability to guide the session.

I requested my therapy be done by video next time, she gave me the choice. We've been together so long that communicating over the phone is not that difficult...we fell into a comfortable groove allowing plenty of time for each other to interject at the end of sentences.

I use my mobile for video sessions. I drive to a comfortable place, somewhere with some level of privacy. I use a magnetic system to hold my phone in my car. What I do is use that magnetic car mount to hold my phone in the center of my windshield. I make myself comfortable in the driver's seat with coffee or water and wait for the invite to the video conference.

I hope you guys find a way through this, our mental health is important enough to work these things out. I really do find it convenient and an easy switch.
 
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