Over the weekend, as I listened to news reports, I decided it was time for me to wrap my head around doing therapy from home. I suspected it was only a matter of time before I would have to...and sure enough, by noon today, the governor gave the stay at home order. I had contacted clients over the weekend about the change for this week's appointments, so we were ready to roll anyway.
Decided to wear my white blaze t shirt for today's sessions. I have done about 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT) where the trail markings are white blazes painted on the tree trunks. Stepping on to the AT, one has an idea or map of where the trail is going, yet what one encounters along that trail is unknown. Kind of feels the same today...as I begin a daily form of therapy that is different than face to face sessions.
I have done telehealth sessions with my clients in Illinois these past 7 years. This time is different, miles between isn't the circumstance. We are all stepping into new territory, negotiating a different lifestyle, and facing challenges we didn't even have a week ago. All has come at lightening speed and asked of each of us to dig deep and (re)design just about every aspect of our lives.
A favorite candle, quiet music in the background, and then, oh my, I need to set up a pleasant place to have these sessions. Decided on a spot in my sun room ~ check out the photo on my Facebook page Nedra S Koenig, M.A., LMFT. What I learned from the initial sessions is that about 25 minutes seems a good amount of time for right now, yet some need the typical session time of 45/50 minutes. I am working with my website people to get those choices onto the online appointment menu. Also to see if there is a way to designate by phone, FaceTime, or Skype for the sessions.
Breathe...the very best thing to do to reduce stress, anxiety, and get grounded. Not just one deep breath, do some square breathing, breath in to count of 4, hold for count of 4, exhale to count of 4, hold for count of 4. Repeat a few times. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps calm nerves and reduces stress and anxiety.
Follow the white blaze because that means you are on the trail to somewhere!