Virtual/Video/Telehealth Sessions

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Eagle3

MyPTSD Pro
Now that I've actually had a video session with my T, I can comment in this thread. Before this, we had phone sessions whenever necessary, but I'm not a fan of phone calls since I need the practice of watching facial cues and body language. Also, I need to watch lips move so I can fully understand what's being said. Last week, I had my first video session with my awesome T. Some things surprised me:
- He's in isolation too, so I wasn't expecting to see him stretched out in bed, with his housecoat on. I was expecting him at a desk, dressed for work. To be honest, I LIKED the drop in formality. Suits make me nervous, so seeing him like that contributed to one of the most relaxed sessions I've ever had. LOVED that, but probably wouldn't want to make a habit of it, professional boundaries and all.
- We can now compare weapons collections without freaking office staff out. He actually brought that up, thought it would be fun. Not gonna disagree!
- He's going to be focusing on hypnosis since everyone is in bed. Apparently bed is a comfortable place to do hypnosis. I'm willing to give it a try.

Some things I have to be mindful of on my end:
- My house has no insulation, and I live with 3 other adults. I REALLY don't want them finding out what I talk with T about. I use the bathroom fan as white noise, close doors, and use my earphones for session. Most of the time, though, the rest of my family are in their respective corners, watching movies alone during my sessions. With all these precautions, the chance of them hearing anything is pretty slim.
- I tend to not wear pants when I'm at home. My daily wear is simple t-shirt and boxers right now. My webcam is set up so that my whole body can be seen when its on. That's never a problem when I'm video-chatting with my friends overseas, however, I have to remember to put on pants before I sign in with T.

Overall? I really like video chatting much better than phone calls. I can see him, he can see me, and even though I don't get my hugs after session I can tell for SURE that he still exists. I have a hard time convincing myself he's there if I just hear his voice and don't see him. While I'm very much looking forward to seeing him in person again, I think its absolutely amazing that we have the technology to do something so fantastic during these difficult times. Video is definitely better than phone or nothing for me!
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
Video is definitely better than phone or nothing for me!
That is a good way to put it.

I had my first telehealth session last week. It was okay but I missed the intimacy of the small office atmosphere. I'm glad this wasn't my first appointment... But it defineatly took me back to better sessions. I knew my therapist was stressed. She was in a small room of her house, trying to do the right thing. ( working from home like everyone else)
 

Strangelongtrip

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

Yes, we did about two-three weeks ago. Not really, I go to school online and have to do it all the time with schoolwork, professors etc. I also grew up in the digital age and am honestly sometimes more comfortable communicating when someone isn't physically present. My personal philosophy is that privacy is dead (at least for me, from the fact I've been on social media since I was 14). However, I live at home with my parents so it was awkward to discuss them, but my walls are thick and I have privacy. The only problem right now is that there are people in our house doing repair work so unless they get to my room this week while my T is off I won't have a private place to do my sessions.

2. What makes the sessions hard?

I think they're hard on my therapist. He does reiki and such while in session and he's also older and not used to technology. We had some tech snafus the second time. He also wants to be able to see me to read body language. I try to lean back so he can see more of me. I also miss being able to make eye contact with him. When I came into therapy, I could NOT make eye contact. Now I can, and I miss being able to see that I had progressed in this way.

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

Working through the tech issues, keeping my door shut, keeping my voice down, using headphones so only my portion is broadcasted, keeping a white noise machine on during the session, keeping the lighting in my room appropriate. I think I may use the app on my phone for a while if needed. Hopefully I won't have a problem with a private room next week.
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
I think the first telehealth session is wasted because we're all in shock about Covid-19. The second session should be more accepting as, doing better to understand that we are all in this together. ( therapist and client)
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
We've made the switch and it's gone much better than expected. There have been some minor tech issues and that would be the biggest downside. But really, surprised at how comfortable it all seems. And not having the long drive to get there is a definitely plus.

Completely agree. This has been my experience as well.
 

Invisible Fire

MyPTSD Pro
I have had 3 session by video now. I miss the safety and comfort of his office. I do not have anywhere I can safely talk except my car and it’s hard to find a place with good service. I was just at a point that I had started talking, and opening up about my trauma before the world went to sh*t. Not sure I will be able to do trauma work from my car. And not sure I can take a break mentally from therapy. As I have read it is better than not seeing my therapist but not the same.
 

Wonder Woman

MyPTSD Pro
I have had 3 session by video now. I miss the safety and comfort of his office. I do not have anywhere I can safely talk except my car and it’s hard to find a place with good service. I was just at a point that I had started talking, and opening up about my trauma before the world went to sh*t. Not sure I will be able to do trauma work from my car. And not sure I can take a break mentally from therapy. As I have read it is better than not seeing my therapist but not the same.

I'm sorry you don't have a good, safe place for your sessions.

I am in the same situation. I drive to a nearby park, or an empty end of a parking lot. It's not optimal, but at least I get some support and guidance.

Hoping this Covid-19 situation clears-up soon. For all of our sakes.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
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?

1. Yes

2. Seeing myself on the video seems to be the hardest

3. Advised to just to do phone call, which he did no question. I had to do a video call for a primary care, which I struggled with but for my therapist, we just do phone calls, which works.

With video, it was hard for me to communicate things under my words. My tone and stuff. Was just hard to communicate period.

I REALLY miss seeing my therapist but his voice does the trick for now.
 

Invisible Fire

MyPTSD Pro
Wanted to give a bit of a update. I have had 4 sessions now by video and this past time I found using my laptop with a wifi connection and a space to sit where no one could see me a better experience. Not only was I able to better see him but I wasn't stressed about losing connection and have to deal with a delay. It is not the same for many reasons including the drive home from session where I could process a bit of what had been said. (Maybe I will just go for a drive after the next session). I am hoping that soon I can go back to his office where it is safe but for now I am thankful I can still talk to him.
 
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