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Therapy in a Pandemic

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When the isolation began this year, many clients stopped coming for therapy because they didn’t know that teletherapy was available. Because I am a medical provider, clients could still come to the office if they chose to, while maintaining social distancing. When the pandemic became more widespread, my doctor advised I wear a mask in face-to-face sessions. I provide antiseptic, and I spray client areas between sessions.

Anxiety has gotten deeper.

The everyday overwhelming stresses of life are usually not life-threatening. With the pandemic, however, clients may be scared that their loved ones or they themselves may become infected. Their fears may be more intense because they want to protect older family members and friends.

Financial stresses are particularly scary if a family member or significant other has experienced or is anticipating loss of employment or decreased income due to the pandemic. Some clients have accepted family members in their home so they can avoid homelessness. The more crowded conditions with multiple generations brings a variety of stressors as well.

Parents and caregivers are trying to work at home with children of all ages around all the time. College kids are home 24/7 taking up space and needing to study. It can be mind numbing.

Elders in care facilities bring on a special kind of anxiety and feelings of helplessness. If dementia is a factor, addressing the new situation with the loved one can be challenging, and, quite frankly, hopeless.

Teenagers suffer the most. This is a time when they need to socialize for long-term development. Also, individuals who are extreme extroverts may feel like they are going mad. These people need to be around lots of people.

Helping others through this journey is rewarding and challenging. At the very least, they can vent to their heart’s desire when they meet me in person or through teletherapy.


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Author: Martha Childers

Martha Childers, EdS, LPC is a multicultural psychotherapist specializing in couples, grief and caregiver stress. Martha is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and Kansas. She received her masters and education specialist degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She practiced Zen through a variety of Japanese traditional arts for 3-1/2 years. Since that time, mindfulness has been an integral part of her life. Her interest in human nature, beliefs, and life styles led her to become a counselor.

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