Negotiating uncharted waters
Updated: Jul 27, 2020
It has been over 13 weeks since we were given the order to stay at home. We were confidently informed that staying at home will save lives. I remember it feeling very dramatic at the time, surreal and like we had stepped into a movie, a strange buzz – perhaps a mix of anxiety and the incomprehension of such a peculiar global instruction but with a traumatic back-drop as more and more lives were taken by the invisible enemy.
It occurred to me how adaptable human beings can be in times of plight. What was quickly evident was the importance of routine as it became the backbone of many people's lives, creating a familial certainty amid the uncertainty beyond our front doors. Routine helps shape and gives purpose to a day, creating a safety in 'knowing' and a general predictability or certainty of what is to come and the parameters in which a person operates. As a counsellor, it made me think about boundaries and the certainties within the counselling experience; when a new client comes to the practice we talk through a contract expressing the framework of expectations: addressing the regularity of our appointments, confidentiality, risk assessment etc, creating an outline of how we are going to work together for the upcoming weeks. It is the beginning of the working relationship.
Counselling can be an intimate experience; clients reveal their pain and are listened to in a way that perhaps they have not experienced before. The client can experience space in a way that allows them time to think, digest and try and gain an understanding of their inner world. During the coronavirus pandemic, counselling has had to find a different way to connect as counsellors have been unable to conduct their sessions face-to-face. Instead, as with many businesses, we have had to turn to various video conferencing media or telephone appointments. As with creating routines in other areas of my life, I noted how quickly I adapted to working online. I reinstated my framework with clients to echo the certainty in our counselling relationship among the uncertainty and ambiguity of what is and is not allowed in the outside world, enabling clients to feel safe even though changes have been imposed on our ways of working together.
If you feel it would be helpful to talk through your worries and struggles in a safe space that allows you to think and be heard amidst the uncertainty of the current Covid-19 landscape, please contact me.