Should I Try Teletherapy During These Hard Times?
Erica Schulz, Psy.D., CADC

Teletherapy is the use of telecommunications including phone or video to provide therapy. It is a useful modality for many reasons but especially in the current environment when it is important to prevent the spread of a virus. It is unclear when and how therapy will return to in-person meetings, but teletherapy allows clinicians and clients to continue meeting during all of this uncertainty.

The pandemic has been a trying time and has left us with an inordinate amount of change to deal with. One of these changes may have been that you haven’t been able to meet in-person with your therapist. While you may be skeptical about trying teletherapy, it has been a useful substitute for in-person meetings and has allowed therapists to maintain consistency, offering support when people might need it the most.

People are having different responses to the current pandemic including feeling lonely, isolated, scared, a loss of control, overwhelmed, grief, and sadness. You do not have to sit with these feelings all alone. While nothing seems to take the place of an in-person meeting, teletherapy is a way to connect when we are feeling disconnected.

Teletherapy is similar to an in-person meeting except that you can do it from the comforts of your home which, for some, may make it easier to talk about difficult feelings. There will be some slight adjustments to this new modality but, with a little patience, most people easily adapt to the change.

If you are struggling at home and have been hesitant to try teletherapy, it would be beneficial to contact your therapist and give teletherapy a try. If you do not already have a therapist, call the intake line at (847)413-9700 to discuss meeting with a therapist through teletherapy. Teletherapy is a way to receive help during these hard times and it is worth reaching out.
Tips and Tricks for Remote Learning
Kelsey Wodka, Psy.D.
847-413-9700, x 404

During this ever-changing and uncertain time, it is vital to create space and structure for you and your child. One of those changes, remote learning, can present new challenges to your child. If remote learning is your choice or a requirement for your child's school, here are some tips for making remote learning effective:

1.    Create schedules. Children typically have set schedules throughout their days at school and it is always helpful to have visual aids with daily schedules planned out. Schedules are also helpful for the week and the month with what is due and what is coming up in their classes. (Don’t forget to schedule in your session with your therapist, too!) Here is a link to many free printable schedules online: https://daydesigner.com/collections/printable-library

2.    Find a workspace that is quiet, free from distractions, and ideally, not in the bedroom! Think of finding a space that is separate from where your child will relax and sleep. It is important that the workspace at home is associated with alertness and focus, and can be free from electronic distractions such as video games and cell phones. If you are unable to find a space outside of the bedroom, try to make sure your child has a desk space that is not on the bed. Working in the bed can lead to difficulties relaxing and falling asleep. This article lists great ways to create work spaces for adults and children at home: https://www.elearners.com/education-resources/online-learning/how-to-set-up-a-home-office-for-online-learning/

3.    Learn what programs or websites your child will be using and have these set as bookmarks or saved pages on their computers. Also, try to familiarize yourself with these programs so that you can help your child with technical difficulties. Most schools have links on their websites to log into student accounts, so be sure to save passwords to create ease when logging in. Make sure technology stays together in the same place so you do not run into issues of not having a charger or headphones, etc.

4.    If you are a parent who is also working from home, try to set up a family calendar to let your children know what times you are available or unavailable for help. This can also help two-parent households to organize who is in charge of questions, technical issues, or making lunch on any given day. Depending on the age of your child, you may need more monitoring of their remote learning. Set ground rules on when you are able to be interrupted and when your child must wait to ask questions but be realistic given their age and ability level.

5.    Keep morning routines the same as if your child was going to school. Have your child wake up, engage in hygiene routines, change into school clothes, and eat breakfast. This type of routine will help set the stage for learning and will help children feel awake, confident, and ready to learn.

6.    Learn from your mistakes and be kind and gentle to yourself and your child. The same schedule or strategies for one child can be difficult for another child. Learn from what works and what does not work and change from there! Do not be afraid to discuss these topics with your therapist or if you are not seeing a therapist, seek out someone to help you with managing stressors during this time at 847-413-9700.

This website has many more links and resources all in one place to help you come up with ideas on how to manage remote learning: https://medium.com/swlh/remote-learning-round-up-schedules-routines-30c08ea0dde2