Teletherapy

Teletherapy (counseling through electronic means) has been found to be as effective as typical, face-to-face counseling. Video sessions allow clients to meet with a therapist from their home or other private location where internet access is available. This can reduce travel time, especially for clients living in remote areas. It can also be convenient when logistics such as child care, transportation or scheduling make visiting an office more difficult.

Teletherapy sessions are conducted through a secure, HIPPA compliant platform in order to protect the privacy of client health information. Payment is made through the secure platform. Email and messaging is also conducted through the secure platform. Clients must assure that they have an adequate computer and webcam and that they are in an area that is private and free from distractions or intrusions while conducting teletherapy sessions in order to preserve the confidentiality of the sessions.

Teletherapy is effective, but not appropriate for all client populations. Clients experiencing domestic violence, suicidal ideations, or other issues where safety concerns are paramount are not good candidates for teletherapy. Video sessions are best for individuals or couples as opposed to sessions that include multiple family members, as it may become difficult to include everyone in the camera’s field of view. Individuals that have difficulty using technology such as computers and webcams may not be appropriate for teletherapy.

Some states (including Kentucky) require Marriage and Family Therapists to obtain a Certificate In Technology Assisted Services in order to conduct teletherapy services with clients. While it may seem fairly simple to connect with clients via webcam, there are important privacy, logistical and ethical considerations for both clients and therapists. It is important that your therapist be properly trained and prepared to provide teletherapy services.

Incompatibility

“If Americans can be divorced for “incompatibility of temper” I cannot conceive why they are not all divorced. I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.” – G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong With The World

Couples that come to me for help often are struggling with their differences. Many are under the illusion that a happy relationship demands compatibility. “We’re just too different,” they will assert. They become stuck in a cycle of disappointment because they believe they must be more alike in order to love each other and appreciate each other. They ask themselves, “Why can’t my spouse think like I do?” They miss opportunities to learn from each other and grow. They hold their differences in contempt rather than embracing and respecting them.

Often, what partners are really seeking is empathy. They are mistaking a desire for empathy as a desire for “sameness.” In reality, it was their differences that likely attracted them to each other in the first place. Now, due to lack of empathy and contempt, those attractions have become annoyances. Their allow their disappointments to wound their friendship. Hence, they can’t “fight through” as a team and survive their incompatibilities.

Accepting an apology

An apology is a gift, if it is genuinely heartfelt. And the way to accept a gift is with appreciation. When we have been hurt, it can be difficult to let go of the pain, the anger and the grudge. We won’t be able to accept the gift of an apology while clinging to a grudge. So, we must manage our anger, let go of the bitterness and choose forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. It is the decision to let go of a grudge and stop carrying it around. It is an act of the will. It is a cooperation with the healing process. The proper response to a sincere apology is to say, “Thank you.”

Forgiveness must not be confused with trust, however. An apology merely begins the process of rebuilding trust. Trust only returns after enough trustworthy behavior has been demonstrated. Therefore, accepting an apology is a way of saying, “I’m willing to start the process of rebuilding trust between us.” It doesn’t mean, “I trust you because you apologized.”

An apology requires vulnerability. Don’t use that vulnerability as an opportunity to cause more hurt. Don’t “rub it in.” Appreciate the gift. Accept the vulnerability in good faith and participate in healing the wound.