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How Online Therapy can help with COVID-19 isolation

During these times, I’m sure many of you are starting to feel the negative emotional and mental effects from social distance, self- quarantine and isolation.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states “While quarantine may be only temporary, even brief periods of isolation and loneliness can have negative consequences on both physical and mental well-being.”

A group of researchers from The Lancet analyzed past research quarantine outcomes to better understand how COVID-19 may impact individuals who are being quarantined. Their findings revealed the following common experiences for those individuals during periods of being quarantined:

  1. Fear

  2. Sadness

  3. Numbness

  4. Loneliness

  5. Anxiety

  6. Insomnia

  7. Confusion

  8. Anger

  1. Post-traumatic stress symptoms

  2. Depressive symptoms

  3. Low mood

  4. Stress

  5. Emotional disturbance

  6. Irritability

  7. Emotional exhaustion

Their research also identified that there may be longer-term implications from being quarantined such as substance and alcohol dependency.

If symptoms become challenging or difficult to cope with as a result of these new current realities, online therapy can be an effective option to receiving support.

Significant research suggests that Online therapy can be very effective for many mental health related issues:

  1. the Journal of Affective Disorders: Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive-behavioural intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial, 2014 found that online treatment was just as effective as face-to-face treatment for depression.

  2. the Journal of Psychological Disorders: Computer therapy for the anxiety and depression disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: An updated meta-analysis, 2018 study found that online cognitive behavioural therapy is, “effective, acceptable and practical health care.” The study found the online cognitive behavioural therapy was equally as effective as face-to-face treatment for major depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

  3. Behaviour Research and Therapy: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of individually tailored Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety disorders in a primary care population: A randomized controlled trial, 2014 study found that online cognitive behavioural therapy was effective in treating anxiety disorders. Treatment was cost-effective and the positive improvements were sustained at the one-year follow-up.

Online therapy has provided an effective alternative for individuals who are not able to access face to face therapy.

For any of you that are struggling with social distancing or even going though imposed or self-quarantine and are experiencing negative emotional and mental effects, consider online therapy as an effective solution to develop strategies, coping methods and a place to process your thoughts and feelings.

During these trying times of isolation, quarantine and social distancing, online counselling can be helpful for supporting those struggling with increase symptoms of:

  1. trauma

  2. anxiety

  3. depression

  4. addictions

  5. couples/relationships

  6. teens difficulties

  1. interpersonal challenges

  2. anger and self-regulation

  3. stress

  4. grief and loss

  5. family

  6. feeling overwhelmed

Please note – online therapy approaches are NOT an appropriate therapeutic approach for individual experiencing:

  1. suicidal or self-harming thoughts – please access crisis services in your community immediately

  2. severe mental health such as psychosis symptoms – please contract your local crisis services

  3. thoughts of violence towards others

  4. children who developmentally are not able to effectively recieve language might find virtual approaches less effective.

  5. technology challenges where your internet or technology is not operating or outdate and implicating operating performance. Also this might include the lack of a headset for privacy.

  6. where the home environment does not allow for adequate privacy due to a shared environment

Stay safe and be well,


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