John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

COVID Update

We are not entirely back to normal in the state of Michigan, but we are certainly closer than we were.

As a result, I am now seeing clients in my office again. (This applies only for people who are fully vaccinated.) Although I do not require clients to wear a mask, and I do not wear one myself in the office, I have taken certain precautions: I use an air purifier in my office, and I sanitize the office regularly.

Some of my current appointments are still done virtually. This is usually a matter of convenience. This is especially true for those clients who would otherwise have to travel some distance to get to my office.

It's a new world for health care. The pandemic forced therapists to learn how to do virtual therapy sessions, and I expect some therapists will continue doing only virtual sessions, now that they feel comfortable with it.

But other therapists, myself included, will probably rely on a hybrid model. That is, I will continue to make virtual sessions available to existing and new clients alike, but I will of course be doing most of my appointments face-to-face as we move forward. This assumes, of course, that we do not have another big surge of COVID cases.

If you are considering therapy with me, we'll discuss the option that works best for you. Given the virtual option, I can now see clients who live anywhere in the state of Michigan.

Joining Forces

Many people avoid going to therapy because they're afraid to reveal a personal problem. They fear being judged, diagnosed, or looked down upon.

In a Facebook culture, where everybody is always taking selfies to prove what a great time they’re having, who wants to admit they are depressed, anxious, or struggling to cope with life?

"No thanks, doc. I'll keep my private life to myself."

But before you dismiss therapy outright, let me tell you this. What I do is join forces with people. I do not judge, moralize, criticize, or condemn. I understand that human beings are flawed, vulnerable, irrational, and occasionally conflicted.

There are no perfect human beings. Sooner or later, everyone struggles. Life is hard.

I cannot make life less hard for you — no one can. Nor can I change your past, your history, the things that have happened to you. What I can do, however, is join forces with you as you try to make progress towards some goal.

On-line Therapy

Because of the COVID pandemic, I began conducting on-line therapy sessions exclusively in March of 2020. As of this writing, it is not clear when I will return to providing sessions in my office.

I use Doxy Me, a telemedicine service that is HIPAA compliant and fully secure. This service allows me to work with anyone in the state of Michigan.

Virtual sessions can be an effective way to do therapy. The things we talk about in face-to-face sessions can still be done in a virtual sessions. I switched over to on-line sessions in March so that my clients could reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. So far, everyone seems to have adapted to this format quickly. If you are thinking about starting therapy, don't let the COVID-19 situation stand in your way. Virtual sessions work. (And therapy helps.)

If you have questions about whether on-line therapy is right for you, I can be reached at (616) 218-8059.