Counselors Turn To Teletherapy To Reach Sequestered Patients

Mar 23, 2020

The pandemic and suggestions to isolate oneself can be a one-two punch -- causing anxiety and making it difficult to leave home to seek help for it. Like many health professionals, therapists are offering telehealth appointments. 

Licensed therapist Rachel Hiraldo says it's essentially video conferencing between the therapist and the patient. "I've been using it already in my practice in the past as well," she says. "For myself, I was kind of ready for the coronavirus situation. Many other colleagues that I've connected with, they're quickly trying to add this service to their offerings."

Hiraldo says she and a lot of her colleagues are accepting new clients now, so she encourages everyone to reach out and seek help, whether through teletherapy or not.

The Covington therapist says introverts are seeing benefits from the suggestion to practice social distancing. "I personally specialize in treating anxiety, so a lot of my clients deal with social anxiety. It's not a laughing matter but they are really enjoying this situation. They enjoy getting to work from home, if that's offered to them. They are enjoying getting to stay at home and not having to come up with excuses to not go out."

Hiraldo says mental health providers are available. "If you feel like you need some extra help to work through any issues that you have, don't feel like you can't do that because of the coronavirus. There is help out there. I know that I'm accepting new clients. I know many other agencies are still accepting new clients."

Hiraldo says she was using it before the pandemic because it's convenient for some patients and protects the privacy of others.