The question, "Have you seen your therapist lately?" is becoming as outdated as the handshake or the high-five.
Fortunately, for those in need of psychological services during this time of crisis, other options are available. It is becoming normal, for instance, for patients to phone, text, and video chat with therapists.
In fact, the shift from in-person to online or phone therapy was in full swing before COVID-19 even entered the equation. And more therapists are taking to Instagram and other social media platforms to grow their online therapy and coaching businesses. It is not uncommon to find therapists with over 50,000 Instagram followers.
While it is unlikely that traditional therapy and counseling services will ever fully go away (they still serve an important function in the delivery and administration of psychological services, especially for high-risk patient populations), even traditional therapy is starting to mobilize. Co-working spaces designed specifically for mental health professionals are starting to pop up around the country. One such space is The Collaborative in Miami, Florida, run by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Psychology Today contributor Whitney Goodman. These co-working spaces help therapists stay flexible as they transition their businesses to meet the demand for remote therapy services. It also gives therapists an opportunity to network with other therapists.
With quarantines and mandatory confinements in full swing, even therapists who were traditionally opposed to administering therapy outside of an office setting are now embracing teletherapy out of necessity.
Online therapy is not without its challenges. There are, for instance, some important privacy issues to navigate. Certain modes of online communication, such as FaceTime, are not HIPAA compliant while others, such as Doxy.me and Zoom for healthcare, are.
What does the research say about the effectiveness of online therapy and teletherapy versus face-to-face therapy? Overall, the evidence is encouraging. A 2012 JAMA article found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was equally effective when administered via telephone as it was when administered face-to-face. Moreover, the researchers found the client attrition rate to be lower for teletherapy — probably because it is more convenient for patients.
Mindfulness interventions are also being increasingly delivered via the internet. A 2016 meta-analysis found that online mindfulness-based interventions generally have a small but significantly beneficial impact on depression. Another study found teletherapy to be as good traditional therapy for treating depression, if not better. And this is not to mention the other benefits of teletherapy: it's more affordable, more convenient, most patients consider it more private than traditional therapy, and it vastly expands the number of therapists patients can choose to work with.
Sometimes, it takes a profound "shock to the system" to usher in a new way of doing things. In the case of online therapy, coronavirus may have done just that.
Downsizing can be a smart move for seniors, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Moving to a new home is a major life change, so don’t be surprised if your emotions are all over the place. Our goal is to simply guide you through the process. The following resources will help you handle everything that comes your way, including both the practical and personal issues involved.
Before You Move - Planning and Budget Considerations
5 Signs It’s Time to Downsize Your Home
Downsizing After Retirement: House, Apartment, or Retirement Community?
8 Tips for Finding Affordable Housing in Retirement
How Much Does It Cost To Move? ($602 to $1,641 on Avg.)
14 Costs of Selling a House You Should Prepare For
Downsizing Your Possessions to Fit Your New Space
Why It’s Hard to Let Go of Clutter
How to Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Want to Move
Use Affordable Storage to Store Belongings ($72.27 Avg. Price)
8 Simple Steps to Mindfully Declutter Your Home Before Moving
Moving Checklist: Tips to Prepare You for Moving Day
Overcoming the Ups and Downs of Downsizing
Tips to Cope When It’s Time to Downsize
How to Help an Elderly Loved One Downsize
Here’s the Low-Down on Down-Sizing
Downsizing, 5 Years Later: Any Regrets?
50 Ways to Make New Friends After 50
Remember that going through these ups and downs is to be expected when making any big life change. Change is hard - maybe even more so for seniors. Change is also positive, though. Stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel - AND the new possibilities that lie ahead.
Photo credit: Unsplash
Information provided by Andrea Needham
By Margot Starbuck
The World Health Organization has coached us about how to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus to stay physically healthy. But what about attending to our mental health in the midst of the current outbreak? How do we stay emotionally healthy when many around us are fearful?
Today I am scheduled to drop my 21-year-old daughter at the airport to embark on a two-week trip through a number of European countries. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not issued travel warnings for any of her destinations. Should she choose to travel over her spring break voyage this evening, a lot of us who love her will need tools to manage our own stress and anxiety about the coronavirus.
Here are some strategies that I’ve been using that may help you, too.
Pay Attention to Your Body and Your Emotions
It’s natural to experience stress and anxiety in the face of a threat we cannot control. Because every person reacts differently, notice what your body and emotions are telling you:
Embrace Best Health Practices
Though there’s much about the coronavirus outbreak over which you have no control, you can choose to embrace the kinds of practices that will keep you and your loved ones safe. The CDC suggests:
Access Reliable Resources
You can choose how you will receive and consume information about the outbreak. If you rely on panicked phone calls from your anxious loved ones, you’re likely to suffer more than if you choose to rely on credible sources. Two reliable sources for health news include the CDC and the World Health Organization.
If you become consumed by breaking news about the spread of the coronavirus, you can also choose to step away from media reports for a time. At the same time, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the news or compulsively checking the news, then you need to take a break and set limits for yourself.
Share Reliable Information
Another way to care for yourself is to care for others by sharing the best information you’ve discovered.
When you find a reputable resource that’s particularly helpful, share it with a loved one. When you learn about practices that keep people safe, let a relative who is vulnerable to illness know. In a culture where people are feeling anxious, you can be a gift to others.
In the midst of a stressful season or situation, many self-care practices are the same ones that prove helpful in everyday living:
Raising a Spiritual Child in an Age of Overindulgence
Spiritual children are less likely to use drugs, be depressed or have risky sex.
By David J Bredehoft Ph.D.
Parents want their children to be happy and successful. They want them to thrive. In addition, many parents want to encourage their children’s spirituality.
Why is this? Research shows that children who have positive active relationships to spirituality are 40 percent less likely to use and abuse substances, 60 percent less likely to be depressed as teenagers, and 80 percent less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex compared with other teenagers.
Source: Samuel Silitonga/Pexels, CC0 LicenseWhat Is Spirituality?"Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life.” Dr. Lisa Miller, in her book titled The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving defines spirituality this way: “Spirituality is an inner sense of relationship to a higher power that is loving and guiding. The word we give to this higher power might be God, nature, spirit, the universe, the creator, or other words that represent a divine presence. But the important point is that spirituality encompasses our relationship and dialogue with this higher presence.”
Children often look to parents to take the lead. This may be true with spirituality too. According to a Pew Research Center study in 2014, the majority of adults (59 percent) ages 18 and above experience feelings of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week while 46 percent of adults experience a sense of wonder about the universe weekly; plus, 35 percent of adults read scripture and 36 percent attend religious services weekly while 55 percent pray daily.
Characteristics of a Spiritual ChildCan parents raise a spiritual child? Dr. Lisa Miller believes parents can do just that. In a Time essay, she says: “The natural spirituality of children and young people can be encouraged and fostered by such steps as meditation, prayer, or long walks in nature where a sense of transcendence can be engaged. Parents can demonstrate approval for (and model) such traits as caring for others, empathy, or optimism.”
The spiritual child has a number of unique qualities that parents can foster and encourage.
What Does a Spiritual Child Look Like?The spiritual child:
In the first study, we found that individuals who were overindulged as children were more likely to grow up wanting the most money and owning the most expensive possessions. They were not interested in meaningful relationships, a meaningful life, or making society better unless they got something out of it.
In the second study, we found that children who were overindulged grew up to be adults who lacked self-control, who were, materialistic, unappreciative, ungrateful, and less happy than those that were not overindulged.
In the third study, we found that adults who were overindulged as children feel entitled to more of everything they deserve. They were not interested in spiritual growth. They have difficulties finding meaning in times of hardship, and they are less apt to develop a personal relationship with a power greater than themselves.
The point: Childhood overindulgence and materialism become major roadblocks to spirituality.
Can Parents Raise a Spiritual Child in an Age of Overindulgence? Yes, I believe that parents can, but the task will be challenging. Parents will have to be vigilant because overindulgence is the new normal and materialism in our culture is one of the major culprits feeding the urge to overindulge. Parents can raise a spiritual child.
I write articles based on my experience as a therapist or a training or conference attendee. Many of these articles are written by others who are experts in their field and I share their information as resources for others.