We live in a newly ordered world. Existing clients have, to a large extent engaged with electronic means to continue their work and some seem to now prefer this. It allows for them to jot things down, to sit back in their own home, car and workplace. Sessions take place in unusual settings and in my experience, this can be the car, the garden shed, and the loft or cellar! Some may elect to stay with this mode of therapy delivery.
Some clients are in a ‘holding pattern’ and are awaiting permission to enter the therapy room which somehow is seen as the only space where therapy can take place.
Those that do attend we see differently, they are not positioned in our therapy rooms, they may be drinking cups of coffee or water, occasionally eating biscuits and many are dressed differently.
Our attention to detail is possibly even greater when we only see the top half of people. We cannot see the breath or hear the subtle breath sounds, we cannot ‘smell’ them, we cannot work with the physical essences which are often in the room.
If, as I do, people work with those who may have no internet, we only have the telephone which brings with it even more challenges.
Whilst we set different boundaries, couples with children who may be at home will struggle. Issues around our insurance need to be factored in especially with the ‘track and trace’ emphasis. Some lead bodies are now offering short courses on working electronically – is this the ‘brave new world’?
New clients pose something different, we have never ‘met’ them, shaken their hand, watched them walk and sit in our rooms – felt them. How many of us signed up for non face to face, therapy room psychotherapy?
Referrals and contact seem to be on the increase. My view is that, whilst in full lockdown, people seemed to comply, manage and make some meaning from it, the easing, conversely, has, in my opinion, created greater anxiety and discomfort. Not where they were nor where they want to be, a lost middle ground which creates destabilisation and confusion. Fears of infection rates rising, a second wave. Attachment to the safety net of shielding and isolation and now having to separate out. This transmits to the couple work and issues of couple and relationship safety which hitherto may not have been foreground suddenly become prominent. They are frequently labelled as ‘support needs’.
Couples who have been together for upwards of 12 weeks with little outside friendship/family contact are in a hot house of revelation about themselves and their partners. Their tolerance levels have been challenged, alongside their capacity for compassion and empathy.
So how will all this look in September as many of us close our practice for a time over August. We, like all others are in a state of watchfulness, curiosity and wondering how this will look, feel, taste and smell come the autumn.
Judi Keshet-Orr Founder and Course Director LDPRT
The views and opinions expressed in these blog posts are held by the author(s) and are for general interest in the field. These blog entries do not attempt give advice to the reader, they are for educational and information purposes only.