Silver Linings - Advantages of Telehealth
by Diana Volant, MA, LLP
Telehealth services for Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan (CFS) have truly transformed our Behavioral Health department in an incredibly positive and impactful way. By implementing therapeutic services through the use of technology, the Behavioral Health therapists at CFS have been able to do the following during the COVID-19 pandemic:
*continue services with current clients without a disruption in their therapeutic care/needs
*provide new services to clients all across northern Michigan who had difficulties meeting their mental and emotional needs due to their rural community
*expand services to clients who have had to relocate downstate and/or to a new college, school, city, etc. due to changes in income or personal life changes
*minimize transportation barriers and reduce financial strain by limiting travel to/from therapeutic services
*reduce mental stress and anxiety by providing clients the option to remain in their environment of choice (i.e. home) without being exposed to other individuals, employees, etc. due to COVID-19
*allowing individuals who have had to take on additional jobs; have had to be hired into new jobs; and/or educate their children at home the opportunity to have flexible scheduling and more frequent sessions as needed
The integrative approach of telehealth services allows for CFS therapists to continue providing confidential professional mental health services for those in need in while also eliminating barriers that may exist due to the pandemic, weather, travel and other issues.
I have personally enjoyed the ability to grow therapeutic rapport in a completely new way with clients, as well as to further establish rapport with current clients. Having the ability to receive therapeutic services within one's "safe place" and/or home allows for the client to have reduced feelings of stress; to invite and show their therapist their daily environment; and for their therapist to engage in services by utilizing materials, toys, etc. that the client values and sees as important throughout their sessions. This experience due to telehealth has allowed for me to deeply develop a new, strong therapeutic bond amongst all of my clients and caseload and has allowed for our therapeutic relationships to grow in a unique way.
If you are interested in seeking telehealth services from one of our Behavioral Health providers please check out our website at cfsnwmi.org/counseling for more information about our program and therapists.