Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Of course, I'm a bit biased, but yes! Yes, therapy is right for you. Here are two reasons why:
COVID-19 has completely turned most of our lives upside down.
This is old news, I know, but I don't know a single person who has not had to make at least moderate adjustments to their lives because of the pandemic. Many of us, who are lucky enough to have kept our jobs, are now working remotely. I know I was thrilled to get that email instructing me to begin working exclusively from home back in March. I took great delight in attending meetings from the comfort of my back porch, living room sofa, and home office. Not to mention, my regular 2 legged co-workers were swapped out with much cuter, less distracting 4 legged companions.
As with most things, though, the newness and novelty of working from home slowly wore off, and loneliness and a general lack of focus and motivation started to become an issue. Couple that with the fact that I'm just one part of my family system and we were all having to make quick and difficult adjustments. My wife had her own issues to face as a healthcare provider, which presented a few additional adjustments I needed to make to support her and keep her healthy so she could keep working. My kids, much like many of yours, missed the entire final quarter of school last year. My wife and I had to scramble to develop an education plan that would keep them engaged and learning as the school district scrambled to figure out what to do. All of a sudden I had to add 1st and 7th-grade teacher to my already long list of roles. I honestly haven't figured out how to articulate just how challenging it is to simultaneously have a work meeting going on in my Airpods, monitor, and assist a 1st grader who is trying to use a computer mouse to complete an online reading assignment, and try to tutor a 7th-grader with math concepts I haven't thought about in 25 years. Oh...and by the way, my family has this quirk that we all have to be in the same room of the house, always!
Many of my clients have expressed having very similar experiences to the one I just described. Therapy, for them, is the one hour a week when they get to unload, be heard, have nothing expected of them, and have someone else invest time and energy into connecting with them on a deep level. For many of my clients, therapy serves as a weekly retreat from the stress and weirdness of their new normal. It is the one and the only environment in which they shed all those other roles and just focus on being themselves.
2. The Election
Don't worry, this is not going to get political, I promise!
Earlier this week, after one of my sessions, I walked out of my home office into the living room and declared to my wife that I officially hate the election. Why? Because many folks are struggling badly in relationships because of the election. I'm sure that in past election cycles family tensions would rise and regrettable things have been said, but I think this year is just different. It is worse! So much worse! Given what I've seen posted on social media in the last few weeks, I think it is fair to say there are legitimate concerns about how some relationships are going to be impacted by the current political climate. I've seen parents attacking children and vice versa. I've seen friends tearing down friends, and co-workers arguing openly with one another online. I'm not kidding and I'm not exaggerating. This political season has been very hard for a lot of people.
No matter what your political opinion happens to be, I firmly believe you have the right to it. I have no clue how most of my clients lean politically, but I do know that they often use therapy as a space to explore how politics is affecting their relationships. Therapy provides the non-judgemental space in which a client can vent, question, explore, and strategize ways to effectively navigate through the next few weeks.
So is therapy right for you? Obviously, I think so. The pandemic and the election are just a couple of things going on in people's lives right now. Let's not forget the long list of common issues people face that makes therapy a core component of a healthy lifestyle:
Grief and loss
Relationship Issues (Trust, Intimacy, Communication)
Substance Use Issues
Shame and Fear
The list could go on and on! Regardless of what you're dealing with, I hope you'll take steps to care for yourself. I'm currently accepting new clients and I'd love to chat with you and explore whether I'd be a good fit for helping you achieve your goals. If we already know each other, or if you don't think I'm the therapist for you, I'm happy to recommend another provider. The point is that you get the help you need.