Psychiatry through Teletherapy: Same Benefits, Improved Delivery

Pyramid Online Counseling      Treatment & Therapy  
Headshot portrait screen application view of happy African American young woman speak talk on video call on computer, smiling biracial female have pleasant Webcam conference online on laptop

As with anything new and different, questions and concerns abound when it comes to the newest form of psychiatry – teletherapy. Is interacting with a psychiatrist over the internet safe? Is it effective? Is it the same as in-person psychiatry?

Believe it or not, while these concerns are all normal questions raised, many studies and client responses have revealed not only the effectiveness of online therapy, but also the benefits, some of which cannot be attained through traditional in-person counseling. Contrary to popular belief, teletherapy offers the same benefits of personalized care to each client, while being more time-sensitive, more convenient and more private than traditional in-office appointments.

Online psychiatry 

First, it’s worth mentioning that a psychiatrist differs from a counselor in their ability to diagnose a mental health condition and prescribe medication. More on the medical side, psychiatrists work to treat mental health conditions through medicine, as well as therapy. 

An online psychiatrist is simply someone who meets with their clients online, offering the same level of care and expertise as in-person psychiatry can. Also, depending on the state in which you live, your psychiatrist may be able to prescribe medication to you without an in-person examination, while other states require in-person interaction before administering a prescription. Check with your telepsychiatrist to see what regulations look like for your area. 

Additionally, online psychiatry is best geared towards handling mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, BPD and ADHD, to name a few. If the condition is one such as suicidal behaviors, in-person examinations remain more effective, especially if the danger is immediate. As with all healthcare-related topics, exercise proper prudence when seeking out the right kind of healthcare. 

Benefits of teletherapy 

Teletherapy, or telepsychiatry, offers many of the same benefits as in-person counseling. While you are guaranteed the same level of intentional, personalized care during your online counseling session, you’re also guaranteed benefits in the following areas: 

  1. Cost – For many clients, teletherapy is more cost-effective than in-office visits. Check with your insurance provider to gauge the degree to which they cover online counseling appointments.
  2. Convenience – Teletherapy is available to everyone with access to the internet. This includes people who live in rural areas or small towns, with few or no psychiatrists in the region. Teletherapy gives them the chance to speak with the most specialized psychiatrists, even if they work in a completely different city.  
  3. Timeliness – With teletherapy, there’s no need to budget time for a commute or sitting in a waiting room. Simply log into your session at your appointed time and meet with your psychiatrist without waiting. Teletherapy is also beneficial to the psychiatrist as teletherapy requires nearly eight times less of a therapist’s time to visit with online clients. This means more people can receive the help they need on any given day.
  4. Privacy – Because you can set up your computer anywhere that’s convenient, there’s no need to worry about running into people you know at the office or explaining to everyone at work where you’re going. Plus, with HIPAA-compliant video streaming services such as BlueJeans (used by Pyramid Online Counseling) you can be guaranteed a safe and secure counseling session. 
  5. Comfort –  For some clients, sharing information online can be much easier than sharing in person. Teletherapy gives these clients an avenue through which to receive psychiatric services while still respecting their level of comfortability. In addition, it’s been shown that clients with social anxiety especially are more likely to reach out to an online counselor. Not only does teletherapy open the mental healthcare door to those who live far away, it also provides an alternative for those who never felt comfortable in the traditional office atmosphere. 

Psychiatry services, convenient and expedited 

Questions surround teletherapy as it continues to gain traction, though science does support its usefulness. According to an article in Journal of Anxiety Disorders, online cognitive behavioral therapy was proven to be “effective, acceptable and practical healthcare,” especially for depression and anxiety. So while the method of delivery has changed, that is, attending therapy sessions is no longer contingent on an office visit, the level of care and attention to the needs of clients remains the same. 

At Pyramid Online Counseling, we make sure that every client is treated as an individual, with attention to every detail of their story, their needs and their personalized treatment goals. Reach out today or call 833-525-3077, to determine if teletherapy is an idea treatment option for you.

Navigating Divorce with the Aid of Online Counseling

Pyramid Online Counseling      Treatment & Therapy  
Young handsome caucasian couple covered with blanket sitting on sofa in living room and chatting. Woman holding laptop in lap.

Numerous situations in life are made better when there’s a listening ear to help you process your own thoughts and feelings. Divorce is no exception. When everything at home is thrown into unrest because of a pending or finalized divorce, it can be difficult to find ease and peace of mind. The truth is, divorce involves two people who are struggling with many emotions, and potentially conflicting and confusing feelings. When it comes to appropriately managing this confusion, turning to someone with experience and expertise in the form of online divorce counseling can introduce clarity, peace and resolution into a potentially devastating time. 

Divorce counseling accomplished online

Divorce counseling can be utilized in two different scenarios. In the first, the couple has already filed for divorce and is seeking closure, but need help in figuring out the details of finances, child custody and living arrangements. Involving a counselor in these discussions can help prevent exhausting court battles and allow both parties to come to a peaceful resolution. The second scenario involves couples considering divorce, but who haven’t officially filed yet. In this situation, a counselor offers a place where the couple can work through their disagreements and explore the possibility of saving their marriage through healthy conflict-resolution. 

Regardless of what stage a couple finds themselves in, the involvement of a counselor can give the couple someone with whom to work through the emotional and mental struggles of divorce. A counselor can provide alternative solutions to fighting and offer new perspectives or insights the couple might not have previously considered. 

Divorce counseling covers many difficulties which can arise in a marriage, such as communication problems, intimacy struggles, differences in parenting, mental illness, lack of commitment or infidelity. These, and other issues, are hard to handle and sometimes even harder to talk about. The benefit of counseling is another listening ear with a new perspective. Divorce counselors will not only provide a safe space where the couple can voice their feelings, but will help the couple learn more about themselves and each other and determine the path they want to walk in the future.

Additionally, if children are involved in the divorce process, they’re experiencing its effects just as much as the couple. Children tend to feel confusion, frustration, abandonment and even guilt when their parents divorce, which are complicated emotions for a child to effectively process on their own. Family divorce counseling offers help to not just the parents, but to their children, so everyone is given the tools they need to work through the situation. The children are provided with the support and the mental tools they need to understand and healthily cope with the divorce.

Online vs in-person divorce counseling

So what’s the difference between in-person and online counseling? Fundamentally, online divorce counseling, or teletherapy, is the same in form and function as in-person counseling. The same methods are used by the counselor, and the family or couple receives the same level of care and help. The difference simply lies in the medium through which counseling occurs. Couples can simply sit in front of their computer screen and talk with a professional counselor the same way they would if they were in a therapy room. Additionally, online counseling offers the convenience of not having to leave the home. This provides services to couples who either have a long commute to the counseling center or who find it more convenient for their schedule to remain at home. 

In-person counseling can be an intimidating experience for some, but this is completely done away with through online counseling. By creating a comfortable space in one’s own home, it’s easy for couples to feel more comfortable talking with a counselor via teletherapy.  

The care you need 

At Pyramid Online Counseling, our staff of licensed counselors extend the right combination of compassion and professional therapy. Experiences like divorce are certainly not fun; they are not enjoyable and can cause grief and trauma in the long run. Therefore, when facing divorce, it’s important to know when it’s time to reach out for help and to be fully confident in the quality of help being given. Schedule an appointment today when you visit us online, or call 833-525-3077 for more information on integrating online counseling into your current schedule.

Why Should I Participate in Online Counseling?

Pyramid Online Counseling      Treatment & Therapy  
Young couple sitting in their living room with laptop waving to their marital therapist after successful online therapy and saved marriage

With the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, the face of therapy has changed rapidly. The availability of in-person services has taken a dip, as most practitioners have transitioned to virtual therapy. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, over three quarters of clinicians are servicing clients exclusively via a remote platform. 

This change, though abrupt, discourages the spread of Coronavirus without neglecting mental health treatment. While the shift seems convenient for individuals and clinicians, how does it impact family counseling services?

When we hear “teletherapy,” most people will build a mental picture of a therapist on the screen and one client on the other end. This transition may be effortless for a single person, but it’s going to look different when multiple people are on the receiving end of treatment. If you are having doubts about the effectiveness of online family counseling services, read on to learn about the issues that can be addressed through remote services, as well as the efficacy and benefits to online family counseling.

Family-Related Issues that Counseling Can Help With

Like most American families, you may feel stress building from being cooped up with your family in a house that seems to feel smaller by the day. Other factors may be compounding that stress, whether it be long stretches of strict quarantine or loss of loved ones to the virus.

All families have their difficulties, but the past year may have felt like the final straw in maintaining family bonds. There is no shame in seeking professional help to restore a sense of peace in your household, and your loved ones are likely to thank you for your initiative. After all, this situation is likely stress-inducing for them as well.

Along with coronavirus-related stress, anxiety and the onset of isolation depression, online family counseling can help with many other issues. Some other concerns that could be addressed in family therapy include grief, mood disorders, financial stress, substance use and eating disorders, relationship issues, divorce and other life transitions. If one or several of these areas are impacting your family, now’s the time to get involved with online counseling.

Benefits to Family Online Counseling

If you’ve never heard of Family Systems Theory, here’s something to consider. According to The Center for Family Systems Theory, psychiatrist Murray Bowen posited that each individual is greatly impacted on an emotional level by his or her family unit. Within a family unit, patterns and bonds form so that each person’s behavior directly impacts the behavior, and therefore wellness, of another. 

Online family counseling offers all the same benefits of family counseling in an office setting, along with some exclusive perks. The counseling your family will receive is of the same caliber as in-person services, meaning that your mental health professional has the same education and credentials as you could expect from an in-person counselor.

The content of your sessions will remain equivalent to face-to-face services, as will the treatment plan. When you begin online counseling with your family, your counselor will devise a treatment plan with both individual and familial goals that will reflect the same method and end goal of treatment as you would find in the office setting. Despite the screen between you and your healthcare provider, your family’s counselor will practice in much the same way as he or she would if they were sitting in your living room.

While you’re participating in online counseling, you can expect some extra benefits. First, there’s no commute! No more dragging the kids to the car with a shout of “I need to go to the bathroom!” as you’re finally pulling out of the driveway. Remote family counseling saves you the hassle of the drive. Feel free to use the time you would have spent driving to instead relax as a family.

You’re also going to enjoy the convenience and availability of the virtual platform. Chances are with so many people converting to online school or work that someone in your family is tech-savvy. Even if you’re no computer genius, logging into your provider’s video-chat should be a breeze. The requirements for set-up are minimal as well, as most devices (phones, laptops) have the capacity to use teletherapy platforms.

The large-scale transitions required to adapt to a worldwide pandemic and the resulting stress and anxiety have thrown most American families for a loop. If the stress of the last year has impacted your family in any way, now is the best time to get started with online family counseling.

To get your family set up with the support you deserve, visit Pyramid Online Counseling, or call (833) 525-3077 to get started today.

How Online Counseling Can Help You Battle Depression & Anxiety

Pyramid Online Counseling      Treatment & Therapy  
How Online Counseling Can Help You Battle Depression & Anxiety

The most common cause of disability in the United States for adults up to age 44 is depression, and the most common mental illness for adults is anxiety, impacting around 40 million people. Moreover, the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) points out that about half of those struggling with depression also experience anxiety. The sheer number of individuals affected by these mental illnesses should indicate the necessity of intervention.

Faced with not only the numbers, but the gravity of the impact of mental illness on each individual, it is no surprise that increased treatment options are becoming available. Online counseling may be a new concept to you, but it’s definitely one worth taking a look into. If you’re interested in trying out online counseling to help combat feelings of depression and/or anxiety, here are a few things to consider.

Growing an understanding of yourself

Therapy in any form can help you to understand and manage your mental health, and teletherapy can offer you this support from the convenience of your own home. Simply, therapy is the process of meeting with a mental health professional to externally process your thoughts, feelings and behaviors with the aim of resolving or lessening the problematic effects these have on your life. Attending therapy with the particular aim of confronting anxiety or depression can only provide a clearer defined starting point.

As you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, you’re likely to discover some key components of mental illness: the root of your anxiety or depression, triggers to distress, symptoms of mental illness, coping mechanisms, self-talk, the impact of anxiety and depression on your daily life, mental health goals, how to tell when you’re making progress and more. This is not a comprehensive list of how therapy can help you to understand anxiety and depression, but a little overview of what you can expect if you stick with online counseling as a verified treatment option.

Learning to manage events in your life

As you work to battle mental illness, there will be events that come into your life which are too hard to process on your own. Therapy isn’t simply talking about the mental illness itself, but the concrete and palpable ways it affects your day-to-day life. Interacting with a mental health professional who understands your anxiety and depression will make it easier to share about your experiences and how mental health influences them.

Finding medication that works for you

Depression and anxiety are real medical conditions that have physical roots and symptoms. Addressing their psychological impact through counseling can have a major impact on learning to cope and live with mental illness. In addition, addressing the physical side of depression and anxiety can help you in ways that counseling cannot. Trying out medications for depression and anxiety is never an experience that you should go through alone. Enlist the help of your online counselor for a better, professional-level understanding of the medications you need. Talk about how your emotional state changes as you change medications, whether the side effects are manageable and if you feel the medication lessens your depression and anxiety.

Getting the answers you’re looking for

Our brains are busy with questions all day long. Consider yourself lucky if you have a mental health professional on your side who can offer educated and evidence-based answers to life’s toughest questions. Capitalizing on your therapist’s wealth of knowledge that is ever-accessible to you in your sessions is one of the best benefits of online counseling. Make a list of questions throughout the week to ask during your online counseling session. Your therapist will be happy to share information and resources with you, and you’re likely to be impressed by the treasury of information they can offer.

Restoring meaning and purpose to your life

Your therapist is not just working to bandage the symptoms of your mental illness. Rather, they will help you to work at the root of your illness and not only survive with your anxiety and depression, but learn to prosper despite it. Teletherapy for anxiety and depression will help you to minimize symptoms and cope with mental health, to the point that you are not only doing better, but doing your best.

If you’re ready to put online counseling to work for improved management of depression and anxiety, Pyramid Online Counseling is ready to help. Call us at (833) 525-3077 today, or pursue the first steps toward improved mental health online, to start actively pursuing the life you know you deserve.

Counseling for anxiety and depression may look different now than it did in the past, but it’s no less effective. Millions of individuals are getting the mental health help they need and are flocking to online counseling in droves. Online counseling can help you to understand your anxiety and depression, provide a safe space to process the crazy world around you, help you to manage life events and medication and open the doors to a full and happy life. 

5 Steps You Can Take to Support a Loved One Attending Counseling

Pyramid Online Counseling      Treatment & Therapy  
Supporting a loved one attending counseling

Navigating how to best support a loved one who is struggling with mental health challenges can be a difficult experience in itself. If a friend or family member has confided in you about his or her decision to attend mental health counseling, it can be tricky to know how to help while prioritizing their privacy. If you’re wondering how to best support a loved one through mental health counseling, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Congratulate your friend on admitting they need help

Going to counseling is no walk in the park. The self-assessment required to begin counseling as well as the actual process of getting started can be intimidating. Your loved one will have likely faced stigma, prejudices and hesitation in arriving at their decision to attend mental health counseling. In addition to applauding your friend’s participation in counseling, make sure to thank them for sharing. Keeping open communication about counseling can be a major support to your loved one. If you’re struggling with the right words, try “I may not always know how to feel or respond, but I think it’s brave of you to talk about your counseling and want you to know I’m here to listen.”

2. Support the treatment plan they choose

As your loved one is open about attending counseling, ask about his or her goals for treatment. These can be personal goals or part of a designated treatment plan. Research shows that support systems can bolster the positive impact on mental health interventions, so being aware of the end goal can allow you to offer the best encouragement. Don’t force your friend or family member into sharing details of counseling against their will, but instead simply take the time to familiarize yourself with any details they choose to share. He or she will feel affirmed by your interest in helping.

One of the most helpful resources you can offer is time. Simply being available for that healthy external processing can work wonders. Schedule a weekly walk or a phone call and expect to listen. Establishing a pattern of sharing emotions and experiences will be beneficial for both of you.

3. Familiarize yourself with helpful mental health resources

In general, it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with available mental health resources, both local and online mental health channels. Read psychology resources and articles about treatment options or find mindfulness activities you can participate in together. A small investment of time will make your loved one feel incredibly supported. There are also a wide variety of valuable mental health resources online, as well as mobile applications perfect for smartphones, that can help both you and your loved one navigate the thoughts and feelings you’re currently experiencing.

4. Knowing your role

As a support person, you are not a therapist, a life coach, a psychiatrist, a doctor or a counselor. Your role as a support person is crucial and unique, but limited like every other role. You cannot diagnose your friend, in the same way a doctor can’t surprise your friend with ice cream on a tough day.

Your friend likely values your opinion highly, and may make important decisions based on what you say. Use discretion in offering advice or suggestions. As a friend, your main job is to listen. Instead of giving your opinion on a medication change, ask “how do you feel since you switched medications?” or “what changes have you noticed?” Picture yourself as a sounding board, and allow that time and space for your friend to share in the confidence of your company.

5. Ask for help

Having a friend or family member struggle with mental health issues can feel like a secret burden. Often this love and care that we show to others can take a toll on our own lives. Supporting someone in this way can put a strain on our finances, relationships, time and emotional energy. 

The devotion required to support a loved one struggling with mental health can be overwhelming. There is no shame in acknowledging this predicament, and even discussing it with your loved one. Typically, it is an indication that more intensive or frequent counseling is necessary and you’ll be helping your friend by bringing it up. The awkwardness of the conversation will be worth it. 

Likewise, do not be afraid to seek counseling for yourself through Pyramid Online Counseling if the emotional toll is persistent. You’re best suited to help others if you’re taking care of your own mental health, too. We’re available at (833) 525-3077; you can also fill out our streamlined contact form and a licensed healthcare professional will reach out to help you work through next steps.

Supporting your friend or family member through mental health counseling is a selfless role. As your loved one embraces mental health treatment, there are likely to be ups and downs. Remembering to affirm, listen and equip yourself with knowledge and resources helpful to sustain your emotional fortitude, and always be honest with yourself about your bandwidth to shoulder the burden alongside your loved one. In the meantime, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Your loved one is lucky to have someone like you on their team.