At the beginning of the lockdown I felt a tinge of guilt. Mainly because other people were working but I wasn't. Face to face counselling had to cease, all movement became limited and social distancing meant that everyone was discouraged from travelling unless absolutely essential. Most counselling rooms are small and maybe they are like that in order to create a feeling of intimacy and engagement; where both client and therapist are one, aware of each other — two wounded healers in search of a common purpose. But on the 23rd March I saw my last client in one such counselling room and it may still be a while before I start working in that room again.
Two things have struck me since this enforced isolation. One has been the common goodness of the majority of individuals, people wanting to help and volunteering to do so. I hope that their good deeds will continue to be recognised long after we return to our new normality. The other has been the sheer determination of folks to try something new, something different. The air is cleaner and I think people have taken advantage of that, walking more rather than taking their car. Others have become creative, taking up or leaning about arts and crafts, knitting, spinning, building, creating — doing things not just for themselves but for others.
I decided to start something new, or newish and that was a course on on-line counselling and telephone counselling. I was sceptical at first (maybe that's what held me back) but as I got into it I realised that the benefits far outweighed the negatives. It offers so much more flexibility and without the hassle of travelling to a counselling room. An hour's session can be fixed at a time which is convenient for both client and therapist and if need be you can keep your slippers on with a cup of hot chocolate beside you.
I'm excited by this. It may well be the new form but I still miss my room and the clients I had. I'm not sure who first uttered the expression, Nothing ventured, nothing gained — you can't expect to achieve anything if you never take risks. Whoever said it knew what they were talking about.