On the santa chillin’ with my crewmates christmas sweatshirt Furthermore, I will do this other side of the divide, I spoke to three people who have increased their “visits” since the pandemic began. For Maddie Weinstein, an actor and New York City resident, therapy is now free, thanks to a recently waived copay, so she has decided to double up on her sessions. And she’s enjoyed the access that FaceTime has given her: “[My therapist] will pick up in her kitchen and be like, ‘Hey, sorry, I needed a seltzer.’” This makes the exchange feel “less awkward and staid,” she said. Jenny Osman, who works for the city, managing food access for City Hall, said she “hated” virtual therapy at first, but has also recently increased her visits to twice a week. She, like me, has found that she’s made the most personal progress over the last seven months. However, she does worry that seeing her therapist virtually can sometimes lead to misunderstanding: “There are just more opportunities to feel hurt or confused by a comment or piece of feedback,” she said.Yaya Mazurkevich Nuñez, a 29-year-old creative producer, was diagnosed with bipolar type II five years ago and has been in and out of therapy since she was 15. She had stopped in 2017, but started again in June of this year “when the uprisings began,” she said. “I knew I had to start seeing someone again at that point.” Mazurkevich Nuñez was also having trouble leaving the house, an anxiety that began to manifest itself after her cousin passed away and was only exacerbated by the pandemic. She has found telehealth invaluable—during this period in which going outside can feel stressful—after starting sessions with someone new. “She’s Middle Eastern, she’s a mom, and I feel like, for the first time, there’s someone who really wants to understand who I am.” Typically, Mazurkevich Nuñez explained, her psychiatrists would take 15 minutes “to solve you.” Instead, she’s found “this therapist wants to go deeper; our sessions are 45 minutes long, sometimes an hour.” Mazurkevich Nuñez is unsure if she’ll ever return to therapy in real life. “I don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting there with Zoom, which is huge.”
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The polarized split was surprising. But what I found more interesting was the santa chillin’ with my crewmates christmas sweatshirt Furthermore, I will do this willingness of these women, some of whom I’ve never met before, to open up honestly (and urgently) to talk to me, never mind their therapists, about their most private issues. I wanted to find out if the professionals on the other side of the camera were experiencing the same kind of divide. With an almost myopic confidence, I approached my own therapist first, jumping at the opportunity to flip the script and ask her how she’s adjusted to the shift. After she kindly and swiftly declined to comment, I reached out to Jordana Jacobs, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist based in New York.Dr. Jacobs was thoughtful and measured in her response, emphasizing the trade-off that has come with going virtual. While she might not be able to feel her patients’ presence in the same way, she’s beginning to see them in a “wider context” as they walk her around their childhood bedrooms and introduce her to their spouses and children. She’s also noticed that doing therapy at home makes her patients more likely to take action on their issues. “They’re talking about long-standing, unhealthy dynamics with their parents and then, when the session ends, immediately walking out of their rooms and attempting to change them.” Julia McAnuff, a registered associate MFT, views telehealth as an innovation, a “window into [her] patient’s lives.” She’s even noticed many of her patients taking more emotional risks as a result of being in the safety of their at-home environment.