Managing your stress as a therapist during COVID-19

Hands up if you’re feeling stressed or anxious at the moment? My guess is nearly everyone has experienced some increase to their usual levels of stress and anxiety.

This is the way I started the blog post I wrote for my clinic today but the truth is it applies to therapists just the same.

Many of us are still showing up for our clients and holding the space. Many of us will keep doing that during this crisis. But we are also stressed by the constant changes, the need to move to telehealth, the hygiene guidelines and the impending financial losses due to government inflexibility. Some of us are also anxious about our health and that of our loved ones. On a personal note, I love getting out of the house so much that I’ll own up to the fact that the new social distancing requirements fill me with dread if I think about it too hard.

So how do we take care of ourselves?

We follow the self-care steps we are advising everyone else about. I think we all know therapists can be very good at giving the self-care advice and not actually following it ourselves. But now is a time we have to do that. If you need to reduce your client load or take a break now. Do it.

Let’s try to focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t. For me that will be continuing to deliver therapy and support my fellow clinicians. That is something I can do, whether that’s face to face or online, whether that’s the same amount of people or less people.

For you that might look different and that’s ok. As a community of therapists, I hope you’ll join with me in supporting our colleagues to make the choices that are right for them.

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