Beyond the proverbial couch
When Landon Dunn meets a client for the first time and welcomes them into his office, he invites them to have a seat on the couch in his office. He then typically cracks a joke about the couch that seems so stereotypical. But to be honest, many clients find comfort in the familiarity of our office and the work that happens within the walls.
For the past week, Mind Body Health Associates has been operating away from that proverbial couch. For the safety of staff and clients we have held appointments virtually, utilizing a HIPPA-compliant platform to conduct video sessions with each of our therapists. As we moved this direction to elevate the priority of social distancing, we were concerned for both the quality and the quantity of the sessions. Would clients feel they could connect with their therapists authentically? Would we see a large number of cancelations? Would those who needed support make a priority of it while at a physical distance from the office?
What we experienced over the past week (the week that feels like a year, for many of us) has been the opposite of our fears. We’ve seen very few cancellations, and have felt the gratitude of our clients for making a safe means of connecting with our practitioners. Even more, where we expected deep anxiety and paralyzing fear, we found clients who were feeling positive, in large part, the interruption has provided the opportunity to feel grateful. Prior to the Coronovrus outbreak, these clients had developed skills and insights using mindfulness. Now, when the rest of the world feels anxious and unsure, these clients feel gratitude for their months or years of practice, as they are now the ones who can provide the wisdom of experience.
For example, one client has been working through traumatic experiences with pretty severe negative behaviors. But now she finds herself offering her coping skills to others by connecting online. By working through the process of healing to health, she has also found her voice and practiced bravery by sharing these skills for managing the effects of stress and trauma on social media.
Each of the MBHA family members has expressed that while this new reality in which we find ourselves has presented numerous challenges and concerns, by and large our practice continues to feel more gratitude for its practitioners, office staff and most of all, clients, who continue to grow and learn to manage each moment as it arises.