top of page

The coronavirus was something that I never knew would happen in my lifetime. We all remember 911 and its devastating impact on our country

and humankind. That event was life changing in both positive and negative ways. Homeland security and the manner in which we conduct our everyday lives would never be the same.

However, it was a blessing to witness Americans banning together putting our differences aside. Random acts of kindness increased in this time period. I also recognized how precious life is and the importance of strengthening my faith in God.

The coronavirus pandemic sparked a similar reaction in us. In turn, it has significantly affected how clients cope with crisis and our therapeutic approach in treatment services. The first adjustment I remember when setting up my home office in March was how telehealth would affect my work as a mental health therapist. At this time, everyone was new to the coronavirus and how serious this pandemic would become in our daily lives. My clients were explaining their fears in great detail during these sessions. The biggest one, the fear of the unknown, was voiced as we were all just getting information about the virus and the safety measures to protect our health.

When the “at home” orders were put in place, I noticed a great increase in anxiety, depression, addiction, domestic violence, aggression and other mental health challenges. Simply put, being with loved ones 24/7 was taking a toll. The issues that existed before the pandemic were magnified. It was difficult for us to manage our fear in positive ways. My clients were gaining weight, self-medicating, and “taking it out” on their family.

I then noticed a turn of perspective from May into June when summer started this year. My treatment still focused on processing my client’s anxiety/fears and developing positive coping skills to avoid regression. It also deepened into a discussion about why this pandemic happened in the first place. Many Christian clients felt that it was God’s way of “slowing us down and making us re-prioritize our lives.” Others felt that it was “the end of the world” and a time for self-reflection.

Overall, my clients (and myself) began to self-evaluate. Clients were encouraged to put their energy into completing neglected household projects, re-discover their personal interests/talents, and create a sanctuary in their home to reduce stress. I was pleased to hear that people were also reconnecting with loved ones, recognizing that life is too short to hold grudges. In quarantine, families spent quality time together and regained a newfound appreciation for each other. I hope that telehealth is here to stay. Many clients enjoy the convenience of this mode of service.

As therapists, we have to be open to change to accommodate such events. Our self-care is important in being a healthy support to our clients. This also prevents compassionate fatigue. Personally, I am grateful for the community of therapists that surround me for encouragement and guidance. In my self-reflection, I have re-prioritized, deepening my appreciation for good health, loving relationships, and my faith in God. We must always remember that God will never leave or forsake us. Historically, tough times have brought out our strength. I am hopeful that this event will be no exception.

Learn about Jennifer Edmonds.

30 views0 comments

By Tom Kneier, Licensed Professional Counselor

Humility. Webster says it derives from the Latin, humilis, for the word humble, meaning “lowly, insignificant, on the ground”; similar to the Latin word, humus – rich soil. It generates a picture of getting close to the earth; even in the dirt. For those of us in the field of therapy, it might conjure up the word “grounded”. And this is most appropriate.

Being grounded in the therapeutic setting is about being attuned to the present; giving full attention to the moment. I’ve seen my clients, who suffer from anxiety and overwhelm, preoccupied with the future and worst case scenarios. What if this happens? What if she does that? What if I can’t (fill in the blank)? Their worry is fueled by tomorrows that are completely outside their control.

Many effective interventions are rooted in refocusing clients on the present. Things like deep diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and attentiveness to what is being experienced through the five senses at that moment in the room and in one’s chair, including feeling your two feet firmly planted on the ground.

What an apt concept for humility. When your two feet are on the ground, you can see where you stand in relation to others and to the rest of the world. You know who you are, and who you are not! I know that when I see myself accurately this way, I am profoundly humbled.

Phillipians 2: 3-4 instructs us to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (NRSV) To be truly grounded then in humility, is not about thinking little of yourself, but seeing yourself accurately in the service of others.

209 views0 comments

That's me and my adult son.

Way back when I was a kid, I had just about every symptom of anxiety and depression that there was! However, at the time I was growing up, the subject of mental health was—well—it just wasn’t a popular subject. Things like #anxiety, #depression, #abuse, and #stress in children were rarely identified, much less talked about. And there were so many of us kids who needed help—just like there are today.

A lot of the stressors have changed throughout the years—issues that kids struggle with today differ in a lot of ways from the issues of the seventies. But in today’s world there are numerous resources for #parents. Information is as close as our smartphones. Programs take place in schools and communities that educate and raise awareness. Physicians provide #screenings. Informed parents understand that emotional wounds are as painful as physical ones and require immediate attention.

As a parent myself, I know what it’s like to try and raise a child “the right way.” You don’t want to make mistakes, but no parent is perfect. You strive to keep your child safe and healthy. You want to prepare him/her to live a happy, good life in a very tough world. IT’S NOT EASY.

Although it isn’t easy, you can help yourself and your child by arming yourself with knowledge. If your child has a runny nose and a cough, you know that most likely, he has a cold. But if after a week, his symptoms have not improved and may have even worsened, your gut tells you to get him to the doctor.

But what if your child’s behavior seems abnormal, strange. Perhaps disturbing. Your gut is telling you that something just isn’t right. There are no tell-tale signs like a runny nose, cough, or fever. So HOW DO YOU KNOW if it’s time for your child to see a mental health professional?

Click HERE to review our Facts for Parents. Whether your child is very young, in his/her teens, or is a young adult, you will find useful information to help guide you in recognizing when something is hurting your child ON THE INSIDE.

68 views0 comments
bottom of page