Safe Conversations: Design Your Comfort Zone
Quarantining during COVID-19 is stressful and tedious. Being in self-isolation while going through treatment means that being physically present or active in groups and going to appointments is impossible. Strict guidelines for self-isolation can be limiting, but the regulations don’t mean we can’t be a part of a treatment and recovery community. Even as the rules of quarantine begin to wane, the question of how safe it is to go into public remains.
We can trust our treatment centers to abide by health and safety regulations, but sometimes we aren’t willing to take the risk of exposure. Missing appointments with our therapists is not an option, but if making those appointments means going outside, we may reconsider making those appointments. Before canceling our appointments, we need to consider two options.
Telemedicine connects us to our doctors and therapists without us having to leave our homes. Through the use of laptops or smartphones, we can talk with our treatment providers, address concerns, set up coping mechanisms, and recognize triggers caused by self-isolation. Our treatment centers provide access to secure apps for our appointments.
Telemedicine is a way to access the care we need regardless of where we are. Using the apps to connect to treatment providers may increase our confidence in joining remote access group sessions. Telemedicine creates the opportunity to remain connected.
Another advantage of telemedicine is that even after self-isolation is over, we can continue to schedule appointments wherever we are. We are no longer limited by where we live, work hours, or transportation issues. Telemedicine clears away any excuses or limits we may have in accessing the care we need.
Treatment centers that offer telemedicine provide an opportunity for us to keep working on our treatment plan, connect with sober buddies, and share feelings with our groups. The chance to share stories, thoughts, and feelings increases a sense of community. A sense of community keeps us grounded and focused on doing what we need to do to be successful in our recovery. We need to stay in contact with those who support us in our journeys.
A feeling of concern regarding talking with your treatment provider through the means of telemedicine is normal. We may not know how telemedicine apps work or be afraid of who may hear us talking. Don’t be afraid to call the treatment provider before your appointment and ask how the appointment will work. Knowing how to use the app, what will occur during the appointment, and how secure the app will ease any apprehension you feel toward the upcoming appointment.
If the fear of someone listening in on your conversations while you are at home prevents you from having therapy or group sessions, consider creating a safe space in your home. A safe space protects our privacy and allows us to stay connected to the outside world.
Creating a Safe Space
Our privacy is important. Telemedicine means we are talking in our homes and not in a therapist’s office. The chance of a family member overhearing our conversation may prevent us from wanting to schedule a telemedicine appointment. Before we cancel or refuse to schedule an appointment though, we can look for a safe space in our homes.
Check out each room by assessing its comfort and feeling of security. Pay attention to how many people walk in and out of the room. Look at where the room is; are the nearby places used often? Your sense of safety and privacy is also important. Choose a room that feels comfortable. Choosing a safe spot is all about how secure you feel.
Once you choose a room, it’s time to design a conversation space. The size of the area doesn’t matter. What matters is how you make it feel safe. Two options to make your safe space comfortable are: look through design magazines or websites to find your style or think about rooms you visited that made you feel safe.
Once you decide on a style you like, look around your home to discover objects similar to ones you admired. You don’t need to spend money while creating a safe, private space to hold a conversation with your therapist. Use your imagination and have fun. Arrange a seat, add pillows, hang a picture to look at; make the space yours.
The last step is to let your family members know that when you are on your laptop or phone with your treatment provider, they are not allowed to join you unless you invite them. Set boundaries you are comfortable asking for and remind your loved ones this is your time to work on your recovery.
Go to Your Treatment Provider’s Office
As quarantine regulations ease, our treatment providers will slowly start re-opening their centers. We need to decide if we are comfortable going to see our providers face to face, or if we have reservations about COVID-19. Some of us may feel better talking with and seeing our providers in-person versus through an app. Our hesitation in making and keeping appointments is understandable.
Before neglecting to make or cancel a necessary meeting, call to find out what health safety precautions are in place. Some treatment centers may have this information on their website. You can read their protocol on safety measures. Most treatment centers will provide information about how they are keeping their office up to health codes.
Treatment is accessible to everyone during this time of self-isolation and after it ends. Telemedicine can remove barriers to treatment. We have several ways to join groups or appointments. We can create safe places, whether we are at home or work. Attending groups or individual sessions in-person safely can be possible when centers establish proper safety precautions.
Whether you choose to schedule appointments or attend group sessions through the use of telemedicine or in-office, the important thing is to feel safe. Telemedicine provides access to therapy, group sessions, and support groups without you having to leave the safety of your home. Even as self-isolation begins to lessen, you can continue to have appointments via telemedicine. Telemedicine serves to support you in your journey while removing obstacles such as work, location, and concerns about COVID-19. Whether you are at work or home, creating a safe space can aid you in your need to feel comfortable while talking to your therapist or treatment/recovery group. Achieve Concierge can help you create a safe spot in your home. As regulations ease and in-office visits resume, you can schedule face-to-face appointments. We are available to explain how we are adhering to all safety rules. We understand how important it is to feel free to talk with someone. Our treatment center is here for you and dedicated to helping you. You can contact Achieve Concierge today at (858) 221-0344.
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