Back to work, back to reality
This week was the first time back working with clients in 2022 and I learned a lot!
Firstly, it reinforced how much I loved what I do. I admit that there were, of course, upsides and downsides for working remotely and online, the biggest being that remotely nobody knew (nor cared) that I was sat in my Winnie the Pooh pyjamas.
Secondly, it made me give thought and reflect on the progress clients are making. The commitment they show by showing up, being there and sharing each week. The role that therapy has in offering a space for them to offload and how much of a privilege it is they choose me to be on this journey with them. I always enjoy coming on board with clients and giving them the tools to adapt their way of telling their story.
At the beginning of the pandemic the fear of the unknown forced us to adapt to an online presence very quickly. We couldn’t have imagined how quickly we would do ALL of our communications (except for with those with the people we were living with) completely remotely and it seems crazy that we didn’t adapt to these methods sooner. Or did we choose not too, is it because we are a sociable species, we seek comfort in the form of face-to-face contact?
Moving back towards the ‘real world’ means having to negotiate ourselves out of our working from home routines and communicating face to face. It is understandable that moving back into the world, and back into the counselling room, might be anxiety-provoking. I felt anxious about seeing clients face to face. I questioned if I would still be able to provide the empathy required, would I be able to read their body language and offer them the words of comfort they needed? The answer, of course, was yes. It all came back very naturally to me, and the more we open ourselves up to experiences that were once commonplace the more we will become less anxious about them.
It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling about returning to face-to-face therapy and talk these through prior to our session. Be assured that I am continuing to follow the official guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and that yours and my safety is of the utmost importance.
For some people, including myself, the return to routines (and seeing clients) ‘in the flesh’ can be very healing, for others, they just aren’t ready yet and that’s OK. Take a breath and take your time.
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