There is a war being waged over whether the human relationship will remain central to therapy (that battle is well-articulated by psychologist Todd Essig). Virtual therapy is a potential step toward dehumanization. There is no argument—physical co-presence and all that goes along with it, subtle visual cues, scents, chemistry—just isn’t the same as an image or a voice on the line. We can imagine high-tech VR therapy, hyperreal, augmented, and transcending physicality. Why not jack into the brain and conjure something more-than—but today's technology is a dim forerunner of that science-fiction reality. Pragmatically, teletherapy is useful, was arriving regardless, and, courtesy of coronavirus , is now suddenly here . As the potential for distress from COVID-19 increases, the effect of isolation, failure of trust in authority, as-yet-unrealized consequences, the sense of fear from vulnerability—in spite of resilience , people need support and therapy. With this in mind, as a practicing therapist and co-founder of Neighborhood Psychiatry , where our staff has quickly shifted to telepsychiatry, here are observations about teletherapy from both decades of practice as well as recent events: 1. Teletherapy can be more intimate than regular therapy. Therapy, especially long-term insight-oriented therapy, creates a deep bond. Sharing and opening up fosters closeness…. Read full this story
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