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violeteyes

Zoom Meeting Therapist and Psychiatrist

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I have a zoom meeting with therapist and Psychiatrist tomorrow.  This is the 3rd one since the coronavirus.  I don't feel as comfortable talking as I do in person.  Does anyone else feel this way?

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I'm supposed to do it for the first time over the phone next month.  I'm hoping it's just talking on the phone.  If they try to suggest anything more I'll say I don't have it or don't know how to do it.  I was upset about telehealth before but really I can be anywhere doing anything talking to her.  I think it will be much easier on me actually.  Honestly I wouldn't even know how to use zoom.:unsure:

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2 minutes ago, violeteyes said:

I have a zoom meeting with therapist and Psychiatrist tomorrow.  This is the 3rd one since the coronavirus.  I don't feel as comfortable talking as I do in person.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Absolutely. Isn't that weird? You can surround yourself with whatever you want when you take the call. You don't have to do any driving or anything. And regardless of the screen you're using, there's always less of you to see than if you were there in person. (And even in the old days, country doctors would come to your house and treat you, so....) Telehealth / teleconferencing / Zoom / Skype / Microsoft Teams / etc. should be better, but for some reason, at least for some of us, it's much more maddening.

 

In my case, it bothers me that my therapist can see where I live. Not as in being scared that she's going to track me down or anything, just in the way that all of a sudden I can't hide anything. There's a sense of vulnerability - "Omg she can see my room, she's going to find something wrong with me for it!" On top of that, the anticipation of waiting for that specific time (not to mention trying to get the device to work, which it doesn't half the time) makes my anxiety spike. There's no waiting room, and I can't distract myself by eavesdropping on the other people or sifting through magazines or watching whatever cooking show is on the lobby TV. There's also no nice receptionist to smile and soothe you before you go in. The therapy is, literally, finding its way into my home, and there are no filters.

 

The only way I've been able to get around this so far is, when the meeting starts, I stare only at the camera itself - not at the therapist. That way I can sort of pretend she's not there, appear as if I'm addressing her, just answer the questions, and my legs can bounce up and down all they want without her noticing. I also eat. It's not real classy, but I don't think she minds. And of course, my nerves always show in the blabbing that I do, which helps her see that my issues are legit. In other words, at least she can tell I'm not faking it. I think that's a good thing, even if it's a small nightmare to endure. 🤷‍♂️

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I did my over the phone appointment.  It lasted probably 10 minutes.  I even mentioned my friend died from the virus and got no response back.  It was a waste of time.

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Feeling anxious about a video therapy visit is quite normal I think. I've told myself that I ought to feel more comfortable in my most familiar surroundings but it's the opposite. It's as if I'm inviting my therapist to visit my home which feels embarrassing; I feel vulnerable and exposed. I can't even put up a virtual background as we don't use Zoom.

I asked a couple of other therapists if they're noticing things during video visits and they told me they are. They used to only see how clients dressed when we had to go out. And seeing a little of their client's home life is useful info--but not to judge or shame.

I mentioned how I'm also seeing into their homes and the same therapists admitted to feeling some uneasiness at that, so maybe we're actually more equal in terms of anxiety than we think? Therapists can't simply copy their office space furnishings but they want their space to look professional, not personal or messy--and yet, that's limited because it's their home. Also while I can look as if I just rolled out of bed (and sometime I have!) my therapist, she's fixed her hair, put on makeup and work clothes. 

It's all so strange and I think we are growing more used to it after four or five visits. 

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't do what you're doing either.  I think the rest of you made the mistake of saying you had zoom.  No sorry doctor all I have is this landline and I don't have internet.  Honestly if you need to take an ativan to get through the appointment how is this something that's helping?  The phone appointment was easier for me.  I'm usually sick for a week before appointments and go into the actual appoinment with no sleep and I'm a mess.  This time I was able to put it out of my mind until the day of the appointment.

Edited by sober4life

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I've done virtual and phone appointments since March (psych uses Zoom or phone & personal and couples counselors both use their own online portal).  I've gotten used to the virtual appointments but, in every one of those, the therapist has gone to the office and does virtual appointments from there. I'm fortunate that I have internet at home and on my phone. Personally, I'm not concerned about taking the appointment at home, but I can definitely see where the therapist taking the meeting from their home could be unsettling.

To be honest, the virtual meetings have greatly expanded flexibility in scheduling appointments. I feel the quality of the sessions hasn't dramatically changed from face-to-face, but it is much easier to work appointments into my work schedule.  My wife has been great and gives the apartment to myself on my personal appointments, so that helps. My psychiatrist is very new (finally worked up the courage to see one about 6 weeks ago.)  My first appointment was via Zoom, but was about 5 days after my call into his office versus the three month wait I found for only one other as many seem to be maxed out on clients at this time.  The check-ups with him have been by phone, but Zoom is always an option for me.

I will love it when face-to-face meetings are possible again, but for now just trying to make the best of this situation.

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