It was the 23rd March when the Prime Minister put the country into lockdown. Five months ago when the world changed in the most dramatic way that I can recall since September 11th 2001 when once again the world ground to a halt and stood still in shock.
There is a part of me that is caught in between thinking that this must have been going on longer than five months, and then equally, in the same breath, “Wow, we’ve been doing this for five months!” Now that I am starting to sit face to face with clients in a counselling room (with social distancing blah blah blah) I can see a return to some sense of normality. The ‘being’ in a room with someone and, as a therapist, having more visual cues to work with, is rewarding and somewhat joyous. yet in stark contrast I delivered training via webinar in my day job today where i spoke enthusiastically into a microphone and camera to faceless, voiceless professionals who I can only hope were able to take something from my delivery. it really does feel very different as I navigate my day. My office is still me kitchen, a bedroom serves as a training platform and sometime counselling space and my car holds sanitser and one of the many face masks I have to remember to adorn. And it seems such a strange yet natural shift to suddenly be talking to people through these little pieces of cloth. Although I don’t personally find it a massive imposition on me and my own and can see the benefit to me, and the safety of others that it can so clearly offer reassurance and protection from the coronavirus. I do wonder how we will go back to less social distancing and not wearing masks and whether we will continue to use physical money.
The worry of course as we traverse the pandemic and the changing landscape is how i continue to support my clients. For me this has been a huge learning curve about me as an individual, but also about how working online has been a huge eye opener and widened the scope of my practice and it’s possibilities. That of course is both and interesting and challenging part of all this to me, and the opportunity to be able to offer support to clients online has taught me to try and work in a different way, and hopefully has provided my clients with a source of support. This new world is here certainly for the time being and will continue to cause anger, frustration, worry and anxieties for people. However with the growth of online therapy and the wide range of psychoeducation and promotion of mental health and wellbeing, the world is being provided with both the cause and the tools to battle and combat it. This however requires a fine balancing act which will take time to climate and find that ever so elusive balance.
When I started writing this Monday blog, I initially thought it would be for a fortnight. A month. I remember foolishly thinking I would carry on offering face to face counselling to my clients for as long as they wanted it. However this was quickly taken away from me and changes happened oh so very quickly. I now find myself wondering how long i continue this little weekly ramble through my thoughts and considerations… Wait till the pandemic is classed as over? According to the world health organisation, this may be two years, or do I wrap it up at a final 6 month marker? There doesn’t seem to be much different to say these days. We are just where we are, or maybe i’ll just take it one day at a time and one blog at a time and see where we end up…
Perhaps that will do for now at least.
Take care and wash hands often, stay safe.
Sincerely Yours, Paul