This is an invitation.
We all know: The Covid pandemic has changed how we think about work forever. What we once thought we could only do in-person in an office, we found we could do just as well by video conference, sometimes even better. And oh, the time and hassle saved not having to commute.
We therapists learned, to the surprise of most of us, that we could, in fact, do the intimate, emotional work of therapy on Zoom. And, so far, the research finds no difference between the effectiveness of video and in-person therapy.
As we are all learning to live with the pandemic and begin to return to our offices, we are learning something else: In-person really does feel different, more complete, at least some of the time. We were missing something.
So here’s the invitation:
If you haven’t already, try coming back into the office. Come back and see if perhaps you don’t find something richer, deeper, and more powerful in being wholly in the room together.
I had an experience recently with a man I’ve been seeing for a while. Over the course of two in-person sessions, we had a kind of breakthrough as we came to understand something about how he and I relate that helped us make sense of how he relates to other people. It was powerful stuff. At the end of the second session, he said: Can you imagine doing this on video? And I had to answer honestly: No.
Don’t get me wrong. We still do good work, important work on video. Sometimes it’s even better because we can enter our patient’s world, not just talk about it. Sometimes video is the only way someone can access high-quality mental health care. And for some people the slight removal of video is more comfortable, it lets them be more open, and honest. And we all like not having to commute.
So talk to your therapist. Some of our therapists are back to offering primarily in-person sessions. Some are still exclusively teletherapy. Some are offering both.
If in-person is an option, give it a try. Come back into the office. See if you don’t find there’s something you’ve been missing these last couple of years.
We’ll be delighted to see you.