coronavirus

Virginia Practice Offering Therapy Remotely

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A therapy practice in Virginia is finding new ways to reach people who need help with stress and mental health struggles in this time of rising unemployment and self-isolation.

The offices of Del Ray Psych and Wellness are dark, now, but the therapists know their work is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are going to need a squadron of psychologists and counselors and mental health professionals to get our communities through this tough time,” said Kristin Schmittel of Del Ray Psych and Wellness.

The practice introduced something called 30 for 30 — 30-minute video sessions for $30.

“A short-term, affordable intervention model so people can really access the mental health service they need at this time,” Schmittel said.

The therapists say for their longtime clients and coronavirus newcomers, the challenges now are similar, chiefly among them: loss of control. 

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“This has made everyone feel a lack of control, a lack of predictability, a lack of any structure, so implementing structure, any predictability, any routine into your day gives you a sense of control,” Eleni Boosalis said. 

They advise waking up at the same time, going to bed at the same time, eating at the same time, taking breaks at the same time and calling someone every day at the same time. 

They also encourage getting outside for fresh air, journaling, self-reflection and reading for coping with anxiety.

In addition to the 30-minute therapy sessions, the practice is also creating two Facebook support groups: Parenting Through the Pandemic is for those dealing with the challenges of having the kids at home full time, and Connection Without Infection is for adults looking for positive engagement.

“We really want to provide a supportive network to make people feel connected to reduce those feelings of isolation,” Amy Begnal said.

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