The wide ranging impact of lockdown has been reflected in microcosm within my practice. Some have found opportunity, while others feel rendered stuck on pause mode. Some have seen their anxiety lessen, others experience it skyrocketing. Some have enjoyed a slower pace of life, with others craving a return to normality.
I have a portfolio practice working in different settings. Clients echo these responses. As a result in some instances the work has been put on hold, others continue and new work has been commissioned as a direct result of lockdown. Overall I think the impact has been net.
Adapting to an audio visual online practice and also telephone has been a learning curve, particular regarding the latter where I have little experience. It raises considerations of both process and procedure, not necessarily relevant to face to face work, that need to be managed. There are new elements to contracting: technology fails; missed calls; safe and confidential working environments and emergency procedures. Beyond this I am still learning how to adapt to what the technology brings and takes away from the work. Mitigating the loss of physical proximity, working with silence, how to modify interventions when needed, transitioning into and out of sessions and being mindful of possible, unintended, consequences of working in this way, for example, disinhibition.
Working with more vulnerable groups has enabled me to recognise how fortunate I am in this situation. I am safe in my home, we have space for us all to have a ‘room of one’s own’ when we need it and a little outside space. However I do not pretend that it has been easy to balance work and domestic requirements with having to find ways to stimulate and occupy my two young sons. I have been frustrated but had to recognise that there are good days and bad days. Inevitably my expectations have needed to be adjusted, accepting that it’s about being good enough. However, I think lockdown has taught me (and others) that there are real benefits to stripping back to a more simple way of living and working truly flexibly. I hope we will not forget the learnings when we come out the other side.
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Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.