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What Changes in Mental Health Counseling Can You Expect During COVID-19?

Leading TMS Baltimore Providers Examine the Vital Role Telemedicine Has Played During This Uncertain Time

As social distancing rules continue to remain in place, mental health patients are encouraged to stay inside and distance themselves from others. For some patients, these rules go against the traditional advice offered to them by mental health professionals, which include spending time with loved ones or taking a step outside. 

In order to cope with this sudden disruption in both their personal and professional lives, an increasing number of patients are turning to telehealth services. In response, government regulations have been adjusted to increase the availability of these services. Whether you are a new patient in need of mental health counseling or you need a little extra help during this difficult time, the TMS Baltimore experts Pysch Associates of Maryland is here to discuss your options. 

Telehealth Mental Health Treatment Options

TMS Baltimore Experts Breakdown Your Choices

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As people are discouraged from going into work or leaving their homes, a large number of mental health counseling centers and clinics remain empty. But that doesn’t mean patients aren’t still in communication with their psychologists or counselors. With the status of the pandemic and its effect on everyone’s life, it is critical to remain in contact with your mental health provider. 

Thanks to telemental health services, patients can seek support via email, video conferencing, phone calls, and online messaging services. 

Telemental health also encompasses a wide array of services, such as:

  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Medication management
  • Continuing care
  • Behavioral health training

The Emergence of New Mental Health Tools and Apps

TMS Maryland Experts Review the Latest Mental Health Apps

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To ease the strain that the Coronavirus pandemic has placed on the mental health care system, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidance regarding telehealth services and apps to quickly bring them to the market. 

In their new guidelines, the FDA lowers the restriction barriers for apps and devices designed to alleviate depression and other mental health conditions. While these new regulations do not apply to apps aimed to replace psychiatric care completely or treat urgent conditions, the apps that are approved by the FDA are effective in supplementing one’s current treatment. 

Popular Mental Health Apps on the Market

Some of the most popular mental health apps on the market include:

  • Breathe2Relax: Created by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, the Breathe2Relax app teaches users effective deep breathing exercises for stress management. 
  • CBT-i Coach: Having trouble sleeping? The CBT-I Coach app helps users improve their sleep routines through a structured program. 
  • Stop, Breathe, & Think: Many people are starting to practice mindfulness to alleviate the stress and anxiety they have acquired from the pandemic. Stop, Breathe, & Think teaches listeners how to breathe mindfully and improve their sleep habits. 
  • Virtual Hope Box: The Virtual Hope Box app is a multimedia app designed for patients struggling with depression. The app is comprised of four main features — distraction, inspiration, relaxation, and coping skills. 
  • Medisafe: If you find yourself consistently forgetting to take your medication, you might need the Medisafe app. Users can manage their prescriptions and set reminders every day with Medisafe. 

Telehealth Therapy With TMS Baltimore Experts Psych Associates of Maryland

What to Expect When Starting Your Virtual Therapy

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At its very core, online therapy is no different than in-person therapy. You start by searching for a mental health counselor or psychiatrist to help manage your current challenges and life issues. Once you find one, you arrange the medium through which the two of you can communicate. Some patients prefer phone calls while others are fine with online messaging. Psych Associates of Maryland offers one-on-one video conferencing for patients with a laptop or a phone with a camera. 

Six-Session Plan

In order to meet the growing mental health needs of the community, Psych Associates of Maryland has started a new six-session program for new patients. Patients can choose from a variety of therapies, such as Brief CBT, Solution Focus Therapy, and more. The goal of the program is to provide access to treatment within the span of six sessions. During this short-term therapy plan, patients can undergo their therapy of choice in either one 45 minute session or two 20 minutes sessions. 

Below is one example of a six-session short-term therapy program

  • Session 1: Evaluation
  • Session 2: Psychotherapy
  • Session 3: Psychotherapy
  • Session 4: Psychotherapy
  • Session 5: Assessment for the continuation of therapy
  • Session 6: Discharge Session
  • Session 7: Optional 
  • Session 8: Optional

Advice for Patients Who Are New to Online Therapy

It might take a little time to adjust to a new medium for your therapy sessions. That is okay. Make the most of your appointments with some adjustments. For instance, you can try setting aside a place in your household just for therapy. This removes you from any unnecessary distractions or disruptions from your session. 

You should also take advantage of the unique features of telemedicine. If you are self-isolating with roommates or family members, you might not be comfortable with the idea of them accidentally hearing your appointments. As a result, you might rely more on messaging than video conferencing. Remember that it is ok to make adjustments and changes to your treatment as you go along. 


Are you currently experiencing increased levels of depression or anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you need a refill on your medication? Address these issues while abiding by social distancing rules by reaching out to TMS Baltimore experts Psych Associates of Maryland to schedule a teletherapy appointment today. Most telehealth appoints can be scheduled within 72 hours.


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