These have been very strange times for all of us. It has been difficult, surreal, scary, vulnerable, challenging…
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.Albert Einstein
The other day, on a counseling tele-health zoom session, while my client’s dogs were joining the session in all possible ways, my client said, “I think my dogs feel they died and went to heaven.” For our pets, this has had a silver lining… here are all their humans staying home with them, day after day. No more long hours at home alone, chewing on their bones (and the furniture), and waiting for their peoples.
Everyone is home all the time. There are more walks, more play time, more cuddle parties. yea!!!
Another client’s two cats, Squeecker and Savanah, are always nearby when we do our zoom therapy sessions. The other day I said to my client, “I am sorry you have to go through all this alone,” and in seconds one of the cats jumped on her lap, meow’ed and looked at me through the screen sayin’ .. “hey lady, she is not alone, I am here with her!”
Yes, many of us found yourselves on our own during these times, and having those four leggedes around (or other pets for that matter), meant that we can talk to someone, feel their presence, and be comforted.
Like many of us quarantined at home, without our usual exercises routine, I too, decided to venture into what abundant online classes had to offer and join Nat Kendall’s excellent yoga classes. It was actually a useful, effective, and wonderful ending to a long day doing therapy sessions online. My own cat, Handsome, joined me on my Zoom yoga classes, making my down-dog, or cat-pose, seems so so easy.
For so many of us, it has been a hard stretch. So much of what we knew our reality to be, was changed, taken away, and no longer there. What we were use to relying on as familiar, scheduled, and predictable had to change, and we needed to adjust, too quickly and abruptly to feel comfortable.
Walking in nature, in our amazing spring, has also been a helpful coping strategy for me in these times. While keeping safe distancing, connecting with myself while hiking our wide open trails along the Yuba River here is Northern California has been a true healing blessing.
As I was quickly scrambling to move my own psychotherapy practice online (those of you who know me know how ‘tech-challenged’ I am), I was having a session with a couple who was sharing with me how stressful these times of COVID-19 and the Corona virus epidemic have been for their family and their relationship. They were feeling the urgency to work on their relationship. “If we are going be quarantined together,” they said, “we better learn how to get along…we need a crash course in getting along.”
What most of us were experiencing was the need to connect. At times like these, with uncertainty, fear, social distancing and isolation, we need each other ever more acutely.
This is from my recent blog: A Tribe of Two – Connection in Time of Isolation.
We have all been encouraged to ‘socially distance’ so we can reduce the spread of the Corona Virus. However, being alone is interpreted in our mammalian brain as ‘Danger’, and Being Connected is Interpreted as ‘Safe’..
After Owen Marcus and I had to postpone our April 2020 Hold Me Tight® couples workshop, we decided to offer a mini online seminar Connection in Isolation to help couples cope with the challenges of the Corona Virus quarantine and isolation.
We got an overwhelming response and ended up offering it repeatedly, over few weekends. With a series of teaching some experiential exercises we tried to help couple find a place to connect and share their feelings with each other in a vulnerable safe place.
I really enjoyed this opportunity to have some dedicated time to connect with my husband in a meaningful way during this very difficult time when we are mostly in survival mode. Dahlia and Owen brought a lot of important guidance to the webinar in a very short time. -Tania
In our Hold Me Tight® couples workshops, couples get to renew trust and intimacy within their connection. They experience a new level of emotional connection and closeness with one another and learn to create a secure base for both people to flourish.
We do not yet have a date for our next Hold Me Tight® couples workshop. As soon as our Shelter in Place situation is changed, Owen and I will create few dates for our workshops and we will notify you ASAP.
My colleague and teacher George Faller had shared a beautiful video about making meaning during this time of social distancing and isolation. The best predictor to coping with stress is, “do you have someone to turn to?”
In response to increasing current public health concerns regarding the spread of the COVID 19 virus, and the State of CA, ‘shelter in place’ request, I am offering my therapy session online ONLY now, using tele-health therapy services. (Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or phone call).
Online sessions have been surprisingly, (for a low-tech person like me..), easy, effective, and rewarding.
If you are having financial hardship to pay for therapy, please do not hesitate to connect with me, we can work it out. (I am offering a sliding scale fee at this time).
Together we can weather this storm. Remember stress reduces our immunity.
I am committed to helping you reduce stress, and maintain secure connection.
Please take good care of yourself and each other.
Hold Me Tight® is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.