Written by Janie Dimopoulos
One of our devoted counsellors, Janie Dimopoulos, writes about navigating the ‘new normal’ in the era of COVID-19, and how she and her clients are coping with change.
I have been reflecting on lockdown, and the effect it has had on myself as a counsellor and on my clients. From the initial scrabble to adjust rapidly to a way of working I was never intending to employ, my resentment of having to do this and my surprise at how easy it was, to my own feelings about what is going on in the world.
After a week (or two) of listening to clients talking about their experience of lockdown, I felt that this was all we were doing and explored in supervision the possibility that some of the barriers I was feeling to therapeutic connection might be just this. For the first time in my career, all counsellors and clients are experiencing the same event in real time… but, as has been beautifully articulated by a Facebook post we have probably all seen, we are not all in the same boat. Being able to really put aside my own experience of lockdown has left me free and available to explore with clients what theirs has been, and the opportunity for real therapeutic work and personal growth presents itself.
In my own time, I am reflecting on what it is I am going through on a personal level… why I am so resentful of the loss of control I have experienced, the effects on our household income and not being able to see my children. I am however, also leaning into what is good about it. I have been reconnecting with my home, with my body and feeling lucky to live in such a beautiful place, with the reduced traffic and ridiculously loud birdsong! I have been making decisions about what lessons I have learned about myself and what changes need to take place.
I feel it is my role as a counsellor to facilitate this reflection in clients who want to explore what it means to them… we may not all be in the same boat, but we are in the same storm, and when the storm is over, where will we be? What will the world look like? How will we feel? What will be important that wasn’t before? What will no longer matter? What direction will we be facing, and will we choose to follow that path, or turn around and go back to the old familiar ones? Like a giant game of ‘spin the bottle’… will I have the courage to move forwards into my ‘new normal’?
If you live in Gloucestershire and are aged 9-21, you can get support from our TIC+ counsellors. Although our Face-To-Face service is currently suspended, you can still get support and counselling online and through video and 1-2-1 text chat .
TIC+ works hard at raising funds so they can arrange for a counsellor to see you for free, all you need to do is call us on 01594 372777 or text us on 07520 634063 to arrange an appointment. We know it can be hard to take that first step but, like the other young people we’ve helped, you’ll be so glad you did.
If you need to speak to someone urgently, call Childline on 0800 1111, NHS 111 (on 111) or the Samaritans on 116 123. There’s always someone there to help, and any conversations you have with them are confidential.
For more advice check out our SUPPORT RESOURCES page!