As states across the country begin to open up following the recent coronavirus crisis, it’s becoming clear that the future of many institutions will look vastly different than than they did before the pandemic in the months and years to come.
Jen Hartstein, Yahoo Life Mental Health Contributor and practicing psychologist, spoke to Yahoo Life and revealed what she feels is in store for the future of therapy and mental health.
Hartstein says that one of the biggest leaps forward in the mental health field during the coronavirus crisis has been how therapists serve their clients.
“Mental health has so many different branches and so many different areas of specialization, just like the medical field, and each one is growing and developing and changing over time,” says Hartstein.
But she adds, “The one thing that hasn’t really changed is how it’s delivered. The service has always been a real, in-person, interpersonal kind of thing, and what we’re learning is that we can provide that same kind of connection and same attunement to our clients over a computer screen.”
Hartstein says that she and other therapists are finding that teletherapy can actually give them new and deeper insights into their clients’ personal lives that they couldn’t have gotten in a traditional office session.
“I see their house, I see their room, I see a family member walk by—any of those things—so it’s opening up doors, I think, that a lot of therapists didn’t know existed,” she says.
Hartstein also shares her hopes for the future of mental health and therapy, and says she’s looking forward to a time when people openly talk about their mental health without the fear of judgment or stigma.
“My hopes for the future of mental health and therapy is that mental health becomes as normal to talk about and as natural for us to be dealing with as physical health, so going to your therapist is as ‘who cares’ as going to your medical doctor,” says Hartstein.
She continues, “When we all realize how important our mental health, is we make it more accessible, we make it more achievable, we allow for the same kinds of benefits as we do for physical ailments, and we really allow people to work on their mental health, because our mental health and our physical health are so intertwined.”