A Phone Call Away
The potential benefit of teletherapy is so obvious: it saves a ton of time not to have to wade through traffic if you’re in a city or suburbs, or drive over long distances in more rural areas. An hour of therapy time can be a huge benefit to your life, but it can easily turn into two hours or more just to get there and back. Sure you can probably take a lunch hour, but many of us can’t consistently get an hour and a half off during the day.
A new study published by the American Psychological Association took a look at the impact of “voice only” communication and its impact on empathy. The results actually showed that not being able to see a person face to face can increase a person’s ability to accurately understand someone. The study indicated that there is greater empathy when you don’t have “visual or multi-sensory” input. In other words, without all of the other signals you might get from meeting in person with someone, the emotions and the thoughts come through more clearly.
What this means for online therapy is that YES, I can hear and understand and help you even when I can’t see you. In fact, it may be better than face to face or Skype!
This is great news for those who want help but find the barrier of time and distance to be a deal-breaker for therapy. What it means is: you can pick up the phone, have an hour of therapy, and get back to your day. It means you can see a therapist who lives hours away and still get the benefits.
Not For Everyone
Of course this does not mean there aren’t exceptions. So much depends on the particular symptoms or issues a person needs help with, as well as the goals of therapy. Not every therapist, nor every client, is a fit.
However, it makes so much sense when you think about it. Tuning in and focusing intently on someone’s words, voice, pitch, tone, breathing, pacing and expression is so crucial to understanding. Being able to tune everything else out and tune into the person on the phone affords a kind of laser focus that can make a difference.
For more information on setting up a session with me, contact me here.
Margie Wheelhouse is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Illinois. She offers couples and individual counseling in Springfield, Chicago and throughout Illinois by phone and video. She helps couples build great relationships and repair broken ones. Contact her today to get started.