Beginner’s mind is one of the 7 attitudes of Mindfulness that allows us to perceive and receive new possibilities in life. When we practice beginner’s mind, we suspend what we think we “know” and realize that each moment is a new beginning bursting with opportunities for us to live fully. This helps us break free from the thoughts and habits that keep us stuck in the same old routine. At GIFT, we have been practicing beginner’s mind regarding our decision to go completely virtual with therapy sessions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Suspending what we know about doing therapy face-to-face and being open to changes and new possibilities, we can see the potential benefits of using teletherapy…
- Clients will have the opportunity to share meaningful objects or show specific spaces in their homes in order to enhance the counselor’s understanding of the client’s physical environment. We know that physical environment is an important aspect of whole health. When we are in a safe space surrounded by objects that we feel are beautiful or are meaningful expressions of ourselves, we typically feel happier and more content. This can also help a client feel seen and known on a deeper level.
- Clients can have their pets right there with them during their session! Research shows that pets can have a positive impact on mental health. Having a furry or non-furry friend can decrease anxiety, depression, and loneliness and increase energy, boost mood, and enhance feelings of security and self-worth. Who doesn’t need a little more unconditional love and support in therapy?
- Teletherapy can be experiential therapy at its best! Face-to-face sessions in the therapy office offer a safe place to learn and practice new attitudes and skills with the hope that clients will take what they learn and apply it outside therapy. Teletherapy provides opportunities to apply skills that are learned in therapy immediately within their everyday environment.
- Teletherapy presents the opportunity for families to purposefully designate or create a peaceful space at home that is free of distractions for therapy and other mindfulness practices. This can be a space that can be utilized, not only for therapy but for practicing meditation, yoga, journaling or other self-care activities. Creating a calm, clutter-free corner that inspires us is fun and it motivates us to engage in self-care.
- Teletherapy allows clients to talk and walk or sit outside during sessions. Clients can benefit from fresh air, sunshine, or the beauty of nature. Clients can also process information, release stress, and self-soothe through the natural process of bilateral stimulation (back and forth stimulation of both brain hemispheres) in walking. Whether walking, hiking, or sitting by a creek, teletherapy can take therapy beyond the four walls of the therapist’s office into new territory for growth.