2020 is no doubt one of the most challenging years encountered by this generation. All the unforeseen events (ranging from forest fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and a worldwide pandemic) disrupted our routine and much of what we consider as “normal life”. The disruption experienced by children and families who are recovering from trauma is more pronounced. Restore was instrumental in helping them heal and recover, but the lockdown created barriers to services that they had depended on. How could they continue to access trauma therapy services during the lockdown? The answer is telehealth therapy.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth, or teletherapy, enables clients to receive mental health services from their therapists through phone or online video conferencing platforms. This method allows therapists to provide consistent support especially in situations where face-to-face interaction is unfeasible, such as the lockdown restrictions.
Fortunately, Restore was ready to adapt to providing telehealth services. Prior to the lockdown, it was an optional service that was available to clients who were uncomfortable with traditional therapy due to societal stigma or trauma-related trust issues. The clinical team brainstormed with their partner shelters and families on how to utilize technology and set up schedules to provide a safe space for the youth and children to continue with their sessions online or through phone calls. Individual sessions, group therapies, case-consultations, birthday celebrations, and child-family team meetings all proceeded through telehealth.
Amidst the changes, clients adjusted well to this medium of therapy. Establishing a client-therapist relationship is a crucial component of therapy. Normally this occurs in person, so it may seem odd at first to see one’s therapist on a computer or phone screen. Thankfully, many of the clients and their families learned to adapt to technology. They were grateful for the ability to maintain connectedness and receive support from the Restore staff amidst the pandemic.
The pandemic created new challenges and made us more vulnerable at times, but it has also strengthened our resolve to continue the work God has entrusted to us, whether it’s through telehealth or traditional therapy. Our sovereign, powerful God promised to be with us, so we will continue our journey with these children and their families towards healing amidst this COVID crisis.
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8