Even though I have worked for years using online platforms (mainly during consultations and supervisions), I had never thought (before the outbreak of COVID-19), I would be forced to provide online counseling to all of my existing and new clients. This unprecedented situation of the pandemic forced me (and all of us!) to stretch, grow, and become more flexible in the way in which I provide support to others. And, thanks to technology, it did open the door for me to reach and serve people I normally wouldn’t be able to help due to distance or other factors that would make it challenging for someone to come in person.
Undeniably, before I was able to notice this “technology door” as an opportunity for me, I got scared and had to reach out to my own therapist (who, by the way, I have been seeing online for a while now ).
Well, this is what stress does to us—it disorients us and confuses us; it makes us panic and narrows our focus; and it impairs our performance. Therefore, now more than ever we have to know how to relate to stress in the way that actually serves us.
Similarly to one of my mentors, George Faller (check out his and Dr. Heather Wright’s great book called: “Sacred Stress”), whose view on stress I am borrowing from, I am a huge believer that stress itself carries the potential for both good and bad.
George and Heather wrote that stress can be good, in that it creates a level of tension inside of us that makes us grow. When that happens, we experience “eustress.” Unfortunately, the challenges of life often trigger in us “distress.” Unlike eustress, distress has negative effects on our bodies—it causes nervousness and musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and immune problems. Asthma, depression, migraines, heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes are all examples of diseases that 50% of the time are related to stress. Anxiety, depression, and relationship problems are just a part of that stressful mix. Online counseling can help!
After a few months of online work, I can now safely say that it is truly possible to offer comfort, support, and therapeutic help online. My goal, as always, is to build the level of emotional engagement with you that will reach you through the screen, touch you in some way, and move your heart.
Sue Johnson, one of my teachers, sees emotional disconnection and loneliness as a “social virus” that we have to battle in as many ways and in as many mediums as we can. I couldn’t agree more! It has been measured and proven that when we do feel emotional connection (with either ourselves or parts of ourselves, our loved ones, friends, our god), our hearts and attachment system can rest in uncertainty—even during uncertain times. Faced with uncertainty alone, we get stuck in often painful place of “white-knuckling” through life, suppression (or depression), and emotional isolation (which is proven to be even more painful when we are in a relationship yet feel alone!). So why not battle the “social virus” of disconnection with the best (and only!) cure of emotional connection?
If you have tried online counseling, and you ended up disliking it, or if you are simply tired of yet another Zoom meeting, please know that I also offer Bench Park Counseling sessions during which we meet at a park. If you are interested in meeting with my at my office, please contact me for more details.
If you would like to learn if I am the right therapist for you, or if you would like to learn more about HOW I work with anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and couples, please browse through my website and contact me with any questions. You can call me or text me at (303) 898-6140 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org