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Frequently Moving College Student Without Access to Therapy

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I’m a college student with one more semester left until I graduate, and I’ve been struggling with some mental health issues. However, I’m moving every few months between home, school and internships, so I haven’t been in one place long enough to find a therapist. I mentioned my mental health concerns to a doctor at my school, and she encouraged me to make an appointment with a counselor at my school or my doctor at home, but then a month later I moved abroad for the semester.

I’m about to graduate, but it seems like I’ll still be moving every 6 months or so still between internships after I graduate, so I’m wondering what can I do in the meantime while I’m frequently moving? Are there any tips I can use going forward, and would it be worthwhile to try to find someone for only a couple months?

I’ve tried to follow advice like being active to help myself, but I can feel my mental health declining still, and I think it’s unrelated to moving because being in new places and meeting new people has seemed to help.

Frequently Moving College Student Without Access to Therapy

Answered by on -

A.

Even if you are only seeing a professional for a few months at a time, it’s better than not at all. In fact, sometimes people only need to see a therapist for a short time in order to feel better. How much treatment one needs depends upon many things, primarily the nature of the issue. It’s always better to have some help than to have none. Don’t suffer unnecessarily when help is available.

In addition, if you find someone you like but are planning to move soon, you may be able to continue that relationship long distance. This is something you should discuss with a new therapist upon your first meeting. You can say to them “I really want help but I might be moving soon. Are you open to conducting therapy sessions via teleconferencing or phone?” Teleconferencing can be done for via Skype or Zoom or related technologies. Some people even prefer therapy via those online technologies. That may or may not be an option for you.

Relatedly, if you know you’re going to be moving soon, consider online therapy. There are several companies that offer this type of service. You can explore these by doing a Google search and researching the best companies.

You might also try consulting your insurance company and asking them if they provide any online assistance or therapy via teleconferencing. In modern times, many insurance companies are exploring these options. Therapy via teleconferencing may not be right for everyone, but it can work for people who, like yourself, are moving a lot and who don’t have access to services in their communities. Many insurance companies reimburse for online therapy and are exploring these technologies and incorporating them into their plans. Try calling your insurance company and inquiring about online services. It could be an ideal solution for you.

Online therapy has many benefits, especially for people who travel frequently. It’s convenient and allows you to speak with a therapist from the privacy and comfort of your own home. The availability of the internet eliminates many barriers for people who may live in communities where there simply aren’t many or any therapists. Studies have also indicated that videoconferencing in place of face-to-face counseling can be as effective as in-person therapy.

Your insurance company may be able to refer you to a qualified online therapist. If you choose to explore the world of online therapy, outside of what your insurance company may offer, be certain to choose a therapist who is qualified, licensed and has experience. It’s important to choose an online therapy platform that has a good reputation.

Another consideration regarding digital therapy is the nature of the problem. Research indicates that certain telehealth modalities may not be ideal for individuals with serious mental health issues or for those experiencing severe suicidal ideation. You did not indicate in your letter the nature of the problems with which you are dealing so I cannot comment about whether telehealth would be good for you. Generally speaking, serious mental illnesses include those such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Disorders that are considered less serious, and likely more amenable to digital therapy, are those such as anxiety and depression.

I hope that I have effectively answered your questions. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to write again. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Frequently Moving College Student Without Access to Therapy

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Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2020). Frequently Moving College Student Without Access to Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/02/28/frequently-moving-college-student-without-access-to-therapy/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 26 Feb 2020 (Originally: 28 Feb 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 26 Feb 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.