Many people are dealing with unique challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. We talked with Dr. Lindsay Henderson, director of psychological services with LiveHealth Online, to learn more about online therapy and the steps people can take to improve their mental health and cope with change.
Thanks for joining us, Dr. Lindsay Henderson! Before we jump into mental health, can you share a little bit about yourself?
I am a clinical psychologist and the director of psychological services with LiveHealth Online. I have been seeing therapy patients online with LiveHealth Online for four years and love it! I have two little kids, and telehealth gives me more work/life flexibility.
Awesome! Diving into today’s topic of therapy via telehealth, what would you say are the top reasons people talk to a therapist on LiveHealth Online?
Telehealth is a convenient and flexible way to access high-quality mental health care. Many people are more comfortable talking with a therapist at home instead of in an office. It’s also easier to fit into your schedule with appointment availability during the day, at night and on weekends.
Most people come to therapy for help with sadness, depression, anxiety, family, relationship, or parenting stress, life transitions or anything else that makes daily life a struggle. Many mental health problems can be treated effectively using telehealth.
Would you say the reasons people choose therapy have changed recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Telehealth is a clinician’s greatest tool right now and allows people to continue or start therapy while being as safe as possible. Because COVID-19 is causing so much stress, more people are willing to try therapy for the first time.
Do you find that patients are using the behavioral health services on LiveHealth Online as a one-off solution or more of a long-term resource?
It can be both! Online therapy is the same as an in-person therapy visit. Sometimes just one or two sessions is all you need. And other times, people find it helpful to meet regularly with their therapist. It just depends on the person and their unique needs.
What would you say to someone who is hesitant about using online therapy as their primary source of mental health support?
The therapists on LiveHealth Online provide the same services as in-person therapy. Technology just makes it easier to visit with a therapist where and when it’s convenient for you.
Everyone can benefit from mental health care at times throughout life, but it can be overwhelming to get started. The good news is LiveHealth Online makes it easy — all you have to do is sign up or log in, select the therapist you would like to see and schedule a visit. You’ll quickly see why patients and clinicians love it.
Going back to mental health in the time of a pandemic, do you have any predictions for what the new normal will be and what we can do to be prepared if we need to self-quarantine again?
It’s hard to predict, but we know that the use of technology to connect is here to stay as distancing remains one of the best ways to keep all of us safe. Embrace the tech where you can, but keep a balance and unplug whenever possible. You can also sign up for LiveHealth Online today so you can easily get the mental health or medical care support you need.
What do you do to manage stress and maintain well-being?
I try to be gentle with myself when things aren’t perfect at home. Practicing gratitude each day, focusing on one day at a time, looking for the good and putting positive energy into the universe helps. I also make an effort to thank essential workers and support local businesses — it helps me feel like I’m doing my part to help those in my community.
Do you have any general mental health advice for people during this time of physical distancing?
Try to keep a routine, but be flexible and realistic. Balance negative thoughts with one thing you are grateful for. Identify one positive thing from each day.
Find one small success when things feel out of control. Be proactive in seeking mental health care if you’re having a hard time coping with all of this change at once. You don’t have to struggle through this alone, we’re here to help.
For people who are new to therapy, what is one thing you’d like patients to know about online therapy in general?
You aren’t weak or damaged if you seek therapy. It isn’t a lifelong commitment and sometimes just a few sessions help. It doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating — we are really good at just listening.
If you’re interested in visiting with a therapist online, log into LiveHealth Online to choose a provider and schedule a visit at a time convenient for you. Have a question? Reach out to Dr. Lindsay Henderson with #TalkingTeletherapy on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Additional mental health resources: