Through compassion and strength-based solutions, We help adults, teens, and young adults find growth in their lives.
You will find our work together to be a collaborative experience in sorting out the challenges in your life. We are engaged, interactive and give specific feedback. We see psychotherapy as a collaborative, active process between two people. We focus intently on developing a warm and respectful therapeutic relationship with our clients. Psychotherapy outcome research consistently points to the quality of the relationship between a psychotherapist and client as the most important factor facilitating change.
We believe that people are motivated toward growth. We are confident that everyone has strengths to draw from, even when you find yourself in the midst of a crisis. Our work is compassionate, strength-based and focused on finding solutions to the unique circumstances that bring you to seek counseling.
A message about
anxiety and COVID-19
Why anxiety? We have always taught that anxiety is a biological necessity. In the right amounts, it helps us prepare for important matters, helps keep us out of harm’s way, and helps us respect and adhere to the norms of the particular society with which we identify.
Many people are wondering how much is enough anxiety for the circumstances we find ourselves in today. The systems we rely on appear threatened in, our own schools and are temporarily closing, small businesses and restaurants,
It seems appropriate to spend a few minutes today encouraging you to think about the biological purpose of anxiety, to help you with some ideas about how you might use it as designed, and to recommend ways in which you and your families might manage the weeks ahead.
The emotion of preparation, we think of anxiety as an emotion of preparation and remind ourselves it evolved with us to keep us safe, we can thank our ancestors for its presence in our lives today. They survived because they were vigilant to danger, and to put things simply, that capacity still lives inside of us. It is so persistent, it is referred to as the negativity bias—our own tendency to pay differential attention to things that feel dangerous to us. Luckily for us, this means we don’t typically fall asleep behind the wheels of our cars, or forget to prepare for tests or big presentations. Many of us also tend to habitually scan our environments for danger, paying special attention to the negative and ignoring the good things around us.
Isn’t COVID-19 a perfect set-up for us all? It is very easy to go online and find so much information—some fact-based, much not—that will scare the daylights out of us. And what with working from home, there will be even more time to do this. It is easy to forget as we go deeper into the web of ideas that some simple practices are the best and most effective things we can do to help ourselves manage this moment in time.
What the experts say about COVID-19 preparation: Below is a link to the tried and true infectious disease control recommendations from the CDC. Use your anxiety in the biologically intended manner to follow these best practices.
And then what?: For many right now, these practices will not sufficiently dissipate anxiety. You will find yourself worrying about the stock market, the security of your employment—so many things you have no control over. And our best recommendation at this moment is something we teach our clients all the time, how to breathe properly. Slow deep breathing (you can find many techniques online, The Headspace app) actually calms your autonomic nervous system by harnessing your parasympathetic nervous system. This may help you let go of the things you can’t control as you calm your body and mind.
The structural change from day-to-day life that is happening right now is important to talk about. Our focus will be on solutions to the potential risks of too much time on your hands, and the challenges we know come with social isolation.
Keeping community in a challenging time: We are, by design, communal. Our ancestors survived by banding together, and most of us prefer life in our communities to a life of isolation. So please remember to remain connected and engaged. Don’t just wait for this to end. If you have children, work to create a bit of magic in the pause—teach someone to knit, take out favorite old games, bake cookies, finger paint, dance in the living room. Your children will take their cues from you, and will surely learn to manage their own fears through your example.
If you are living on your own, stay connected with those you love through the advanced technologies we all have at our disposal. FaceTime your friends and family.
And everyone should remember the importance of fresh air and exercise. So much better for us than that 16-hour festival of epidemic movies you’ve been toying with watching!
If you find yourself turning to drugs or alcohol, both SMART recovery and AA have many online meetings—join one today. Here are links to their web-based communities.
People simply need to connect right now. We have also been meeting with clients with our HIPAA compliant telehealth platform. We will continue to connect with one another in this format until it is safe for everyone to be back in person again. This is something we can do together for the greater good of our community as we confront COVID-19.
If you are finding your anxiety overwhelming you right now, please reach out to others. You do not have to manage this alone. If you would like to talk about online therapy for this time in your life, feel free to call us at 860-740-2228 or request an appointment via our website.