Jennifer Shrier LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a private practice in NJ and NY. She received her Masters in Social Work from NYU and her Bachelors of Science from Cornell University. She works with adults and young adults on a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, self esteem, and personal relationship problems.
During this difficult time of uncertainty, support is more crucial than ever. The lockdown has resulted in reduced social contact, isolation, and loneliness.
We are no longer in the company of our peers. Teens are not with their fellow teenagers, moms are not with other moms, employees are not with coworkers, families are separated, and couples are separated. No one is with their fellow cohorts, where they may draw from similarities that comfort one another.
Family members are frustrated with each other, disappointed in their circumstances and their realizations; couples are seeing all sides of each other, struggling between support for loved ones, and their own needs. Staying connected to sources of support is more important than ever.
Within the world we were living in, prior to this pandemic, and the lockdown, it’s likely you didn’t spend long periods of time on the phone connecting and relating. Perhaps a text here or there, to organize a plan, or an even less intimate group text to mention something silly amongst the events of your busy day.
It is probable that you might not feel as comfortable picking up the phone to reach out to various friends, who perhaps only reached the “acquaintance” status in this lockdown. There are individuals you may have seen rather frequently, that may not have been your best friends. Perhaps they were members of groups within which you’ve been affiliated, whether classmates, friend-of-a-friend, fellow-parents, board members, club members, neighbors, or members within the community.
This situation is leaving many isolated.
Teletherapy is a form of psychological service provided using internet technology, which can include consultation, treatment, and the transfer of medical data. This can include emails or telephone conversations. In teletherapy, a therapist is providing therapy just as the therapist would, in person, however the therapy is performed over the internet. Video sessions can be conducted using an electronic device with a connection to the internet, while phone sessions require the use of a phone only. There are HIPAA-compliant platforms used for teletherapy to maintain confidentiality.
Receiving the support of a therapist can be helpful during this time of uncertainty, confusion, and isolation.
Getting connected to a therapist through teletherapy can help to:
- Check in to process the changes, and loss
- Understand your own needs
- Validate your feelings
- Create a routine
- Prioritize self care
- Add in some joy/ laughter/ camaraderie
- Develop a trusting reliable relationship
- Create comfort
- Improve your mood
- Reduce anxiety
- Identify healthy coping skills
Finding A Therapist
Schools and physicians often have names of local therapists they can provide to students, parents, and patients. If you would like to find a therapist on your own, Psychology Today lists mental health practitioners by zip code and specialty. Psychology Today also verifies the background and state licensure of all providers before listing them on the website. You’re able to put in your zip code to find someone licensed in your state. Most therapists are offering teletherapy through HIPAA compliant platforms, by video session or phone session. The most important thing to realize, is that you’re not alone. A therapist is only a few clicks away. Talking to someone can help.
Read more from Jennifer Shrier, here.
Mental Health and Lupus
Learn more about mental health and lupus in these LupusCorner featured articles.
“Depression, Loneliness, Isolation, & Lupus”, here.
“Anxiety, Chronic Stress, & Lupus Symptoms”, here.
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