Coping During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Some people ask me, “How can I feel less anxious?”

I think acceptance plays a major role in reducing anxiety during Covid-19.  No one alive today has been in a situation like this.  If we say to ourselves that we should not be anxious, this expectation will raise our anxiety.  I have been using online counseling to talk with a lot of clients about Covid-19 and the calmer ones are those who are using this time to focus on accomplishing tasks like organization, cleaning, volunteering, and doing generally helpful things.  The people who are more anxious are usually watching several hours of news per day, as well as spending a great deal of time on social media.  The anxious people often are not doing things that give them a feeling of accomplishment or helpfulness.

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What is Trucker Therapy?

Here is how Trucker Therapy was born:

When I first started out as a counselor, I found that I had several clients who were truckers.  Quickly, I realized that my clients were unable to keep appointments because they were out on the road.  Therapy was quickly ineffective for them.

I also had clients who would take weeks off work (usually unpaid, of course) so they were able to see me for weekly office visits.  This was also not very helpful to the client.

I knew there needed to be a more effective means to help the truckers.  After a great deal of thought, I remembered my skills of volunteering at a crisis hotline (more than 500 hours).  I started networking with the trucking community by leaving business cards at truck stops and through word of mouth.  Then, Twitter and Facebook started to become more popular.  Now, I’m proud to say that I talk with truckers every day who are seeking help.

Not only do truckers suffer from having great difficulty accessing therapy and other healthcare, but there are many problems related to the profession itself.  For example, truckers have a high rate of depression related to the isolation of being out on the road for days and weeks on-end.  Because most people are social creatures, the isolation of driving a truck can really take a toll on one’s mental health.  Also, relationship problems are very frequent, as well.  It is very difficult to keep a relationship going when one is away from home for extended periods of time.  As there are more arguments and/or isolation with the trucker’s loved ones, life becomes more and more stressful.  Dispatchers, receivers, and all of the four wheelers on the road only compound the stress.

What is Trucker Therapy? Trucker Therapy uses online counseling (video conferencing)  so the trucker can stay on the road and improve themselves at the same time. Couples can also work on their relationship, either with teams or when the trucker is on the road and the other is at home.  For those who are passing through, visits are also available in my Lafayette, Indiana office.  Anger, Stress, and Relationships are the primary focus of trucker therapy, but many other issues may be discussed.

Trucker Therapy is only part of what I do.  I also work in private practice where I see people in my office for anger management, stress, and couples therapy.

Is Online Therapy Right for Me?

Online therapy or telemental health is different from counseling or therapy because it is not face to face and is typically not good for critical situations. However, online counseling is great for those who have questions about their mental health or want to learn how to manage anger, anxiety, depression, or learn how to have a better relationship.

Online therapy can be done via video conference or telephone. This can be a great alternative to an office visit. The benefits include working around your schedule. There is also increased privacy as a result of not having to come to a clinic and be seen by others. Online counseling is also very beneficial for people who are not yet ready to come to therapy or are unable to do so because of their busy schedule, travel, or other challenge. A great deal of time is saved, as well as travel expenses.

Video Therapy

Video conferencing is a unique way to provide therapy services for many different reasons. Just think about the ease of having a therapy session without leaving the house. It also increases privacy because you know no one will see you in a waiting room or walking into a clinic. It is also important to mention that you save time and travel expenses.

Video conferencing allows for both the client and therapist to see and hear one another via the internet. Although face to face therapy is usually the most beneficial, Video conferencing is a great alternative due to its flexibility and (usually) high quality of voice and video. I prefer a video call over a telephone call because it really does sound much more clear!

Many people are often leery of a video session and would rather make office visits. I invite you to give it a try and see how you like it.

Anger management, stress management, sexuality issues and even couples therapy are all great topics for video conferencing.

Getting the Most out of Online Therapy

When clients talk with me via video conference (online therapy), there are often things they can do to better their experience. I want you to get the most out of your session, so please look over these tips.

Tips for bettering your session:

  • Treat this session the same as you would if you were in my office.
  • Put the appointment on your calendar so it is not a surprise when I call you! (this happens far too often)
  • Make sure you are in a quiet place, which is free from distractions.
  • Don’t drive and talk!
  • Keep yourself focused during the discussion…don’t try to do housework or surf the web.
  • Give yourself 30 minutes before and after the session to think about our discussion.
  • If you disagree with something I say, speak your mind! The last thing I want is for you to just quit talking with me because you are upset. Who knows, maybe I misheard you, which caused my response to be wrong.
  • Remember that some body language is missed over online therapy, so please don’t be afraid to be more verbally expressive.