Apocalypse.
Isolation.
The Fall.

These are just some of the ways people are describing their feelings about Coronavirus. At Well Clinic, we understand the pressures that this pandemic puts on us all – both as mental health practitioners and as your neighbors. It may be a long road, and we’re all in this together.

Recently, a few of our clinicians shared their insights into how people are coping with this unprecedented global event.

 

What’s coming forward in your sessions?

  • Economic concerns
  • Fear of isolation
  • Concern with humanity
  • Concern for personal safety
  • Fear of unemployment followed
  • Violence, depression and anxiety due to isolation, traumatic symptoms.

 

What emerging themes are you noticing?

Clients are also talking about rethinking values, evaluating what is this message – this outbreak – is trying to teach us about ourselves. As a theme, we’re hearing people talk about:

  • Nightmares linked to Covid-19
  • An increase in anxiety
  • Not knowing how to maintain their goals of therapy
  • Feeling helpless and feeling confused if they should be working on their personal mental health issues in the midst of such crisis.

Many individuals who are employeed and feeling financially stable are showing a desire to help and support others and businesses. Some ways they are doing this is keeping memberships going, buying gift certificates to local businesses, and trying to find ways to help others get through this.

 

What advice/resources are you providing that seem to help?

In session, we discuss our sense of unity in humanity, our capacity to adapt with new situations, and new ways to support each other, in the presence of physical absence. Clients are encouraged to create new habits and behavior to maintain the brain producing serotonin, such as exercising at home, maintaining conversations with others through video.

 

What does “therapy in the age of Coronavirus” look like?

Some of our therapists are working with Cognitive Behavioral and Acceptance Commitment Therapy. This helps clients look at what is happening with more rational lenses, rather than behaving on our survival instincts, fed by media sensationalism.

Karine Bertram is integrating themes of existentialism that explore the impossibility of avoiding anxiety. Anxiety is inherently human and most of us are capable of coping if we are able to put in practice our tools and rational brain in times of chaos and stress. I am also putting together mindfulness and meditation-based sessions to help resetting and calming.

 

What other random things have you noticed?

  • People who are highly sensitive need to be mindful and intentional about the news they take in because it can be very dysregulating for the system.
  • Mental health issues haven’t been focused on as much with media coverage, which is a disservice to what people are experiencing.
  • It’s an important time for feelings of anxiety to be normalized.
  • Those with a history of mental illness will also find this time to be especially triggering.
  • We need to take extra care of ourselves and check-in with each other.

 

Ways to make the most of it.

  • Helping others/ volunteering is a great way to stay connected and feel better.
  • You can donate time to help those who need help setting up tech solutions, delivering groceries/medication for those who are at higher risk/ elderly and shouldn’t be out, checking on friends and neighbors.
  • Using free time (if you’re not able to work) to reach out to long-distance friends and family who you’ve been too busy to call.

 

Thanks to Mojdeh Mansoori, Karine Bertram, and Maya Johansson for their contributions.

 

 

Online Therapy in San Francisco

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, our team of therapists and psychiatrists are now offering sessions via HIPAA-secure teletherapy. For new patients, this means your first few visits will be online while we all wait for this to pass.

If you’re considering therapy for coronavirus-related anxiety – or, for any other reason – we’re here to help.

Click below to schedule a free, short Q&A call with a compassionate intake specialist (working from home, of course).

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