“It is not outer circumstances that change a life, but the inner changes which manifest themselves in life.” – Wilma Thomalla.
When I first heard the news that the lockdown was in full force and my face to face client work had to stop, I felt the devastating loss of the healthy connections I had made with my clients. I had never had any desire to work online as I had avoided it before.
I believed face to face work was far more affective and nothing compared.
I thrived on the connections being established and maintained whilst in the same room with another person as we encountered the therapeutic space together!
After accepting I had to face all the changes I had experienced personally and within my family. I then focused my attention professionally, putting the steps into place to begin working online. I had to swiftly find the courage to get out of my ridged way of thinking that online work was not for me.
I felt I had no choice; my client work was of great importance. I really wanted to continue offering support through such an unfamiliar and unsettling time for everyone.
We are all in a storm right now. We are steering our own boat in similar choppy waters. Feeling our own undercurrent from our own life experiences.
I began researching and gaining knowledge of the important aspects of working safely and ethically with online therapy. I started to see and experience first-hand that working online with clients was still powerfully connective as I listened attentively, focused on being present, and offered a compassionate approach.
Although I really had to find my own compassionate internal gentle voice from my soothing system when faced with difficulties such as when lagging and technical issues occurred which was incredibly stressful adapting too.
I had to regularly bring my attention to regulating my breath in the moment when I felt anxious that the service, I was providing was not good enough. I recognised I was going into my threat system!
I eventually learnt to smile and find humour in the unpredictable Wi-Fi connections. We were adapting to the frustration of it as we learnt to accept it was like that at times.
Working in my drive system I had a plan B, which was to change platform if needed to see if that helped the connection. I began to feel motivated and determined this way of working was going to offer my clients therapeutic support through the challenges they were facing through the lockdown restrictions.
Understanding compassion focused therapy has been such a life line for me personally evolving my awareness of the three system model of emotions which has enhanced my professional capacity to enable others to gain this insight to alleviate suffering through such incredibly distressing life changing circumstances.
What do you recognise you have adapted to through your lockdown experiences?
If you feel you would like to learn more about your emotional systems and alleviate distress I am here to support you.