can I really hear the bells of hope ringing in the distance?
Sunday 21st February 2021
Wonder if anyone else felt launched into a surge of elation to hear the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ declared this week. The intention that this will be the final lockdown transported me into song, followed by a sudden rise of panic at the prospect of potential disappointment that it may not play out quite like this at all. I recognise my own tumultuous relationship with highs and lows - and how my own extreme heights of euphoria and excitement can be choked by a sudden descent into the abyss of despair. Perhaps my caution at the prospect of the world returning to ‘normal’ is influenced by my own old patterns from the past or perhaps there is also a reality in my caution which has been cemented by the setbacks and blunders of recent lockdown exits - who knows.
Easy to begin to see how the turbulent events over the last year can transport us backwards and re-activate old patterns of feelings and behaviour which have connections to past experiences and can unknowingly pull us into responding to present day situations in ways which belong to the past and may be disproportionate or even unhelpful to us now. What a learning though, about ourselves, if we can only tolerate these feelings and allow ourselves to really think about what they evoke from our early life, we can gain a deeper sense of ourselves and an understanding of how we relate to the world and those around us and our responses, which can ultimately rescue us from the repetitive destruction and pain we find ourselves reliving throughout our lives.
Can it feel safe to be hopeful and excited about a potential new future? A future which feels so significant in appreciating those little moments which seemed to escape us prior to this appalling pandemic perhaps due to our busy bustling lives, but which now hold so much meaning, thoughtfulness and gratitude.
So, with the dawn of spring in the air and the green shoots of new life and new beginnings sprouting all around us, perhaps it is time to sit back, close our eyes and imagine a dazzling future ahead.
So, 4 weeks in and where are we really?
Friday 29th January 2021
We’re nearly four weeks into lockdown 3 with a potential further three months of being tethered to the home post and I am wondering how others might be feeling. Many people continue to leave their home each day for work which perhaps brings a relief for some and induces an utter dread for others. For me there’s a nerviness about the anticipation of being plunged into a state of dependency at being stranded at home along with a sense of safety, security and sanctuary. Perhaps the perceived hostility of the outside world and the need to be safe at home, reactivates old scenarios from the past evoking an uneasiness with those familiar feelings of emotional restraint and confinement. Curiously, the first lockdown felt liberating for me, unleashing a freedom from the very constraints which it now seems to generate.
In therapy with clients, we have been thinking about the meaning of being ‘locked down’ emotionally and physically and the origins of this often excruciating experience. For others, it can mean a release of the burdens of responsibility that are experienced as part of ‘being’ in the world and an opportunity to escape from the expectations and judgements which are felt to be impossible to meet and unbearable to tolerate.
Understanding the meaning of lockdown to each of us and gaining valuable insight into the powerful feelings and memories it can activate, can feel a huge relief and help us to manage those feelings more effectively.
If therapy is something you are considering, perhaps experiencing an initial therapy session could help you to begin to unlock some of those deep seated and entrenched feelings and thoughts that you have struggled to understand within yourself and yet which continue to engulf you in such pain, bringing about a greater awareness of how your earliest experiences continue to influence not only your view of yourself, your life and the world but also the life paths you choose, the decisions you make and the relationships you are in.
So, is it time to take a risk and test the water… you might be about to embark on an amazing journey of self discovery….
new year, new lockdown and a reluctant return to zooming... again !?!
Saturday 9th January 2021
So here we go again! just when some of us thought it might be safe enough to emerge from the depths of our computers and back into face to face therapy, we enter lockdown 3, which has propelled those of us who had furtively ventured back into our consulting rooms, scuttling back home and onto zoom once again.
Providing therapy on zoom pre-Covid, is not something I would ever have entertained. For a start the only zoom I had even heard of was that delicious rocket shaped ice-lolly covered in hundreds and thousands I regularly enjoyed back in my youth, and on discovering it now referred to a tv-like appearance where a two way communication was possible, I had not the slightest on how to set up this new tech. If this wasn’t nervy enough, the thought of trying to connect with another human being ('being connected' on zoom seems to have developed a whole new meaning!) and all the subtle therapy cues which was therapy as I knew it could be lost, would have flied in the face of everything I believed to be ‘right’ about therapy and would have felt unimaginable. I would have been one of those defiant campaigners at the forefront of thwarting every attempt at hauling the therapy profession into what would have felt like an ‘ungodly’ direction.
The new norms in the 'zoom' vocabulary we are now so accustomed to has been like having a new language thrust upon us, “Can you hear me, I can hear you, good, looks like we’ve connected” often drifting into.. “you’ve frozen, just missed a few seconds there…”. This is without the ‘waiting room’ scenario of having to ‘admit’ clients at the chosen time… if, of course, they have actually managed to find their way in.
On a more serious note though, it must have been pretty unsettling for clients to accommodate this new way of seeing their therapist and experiencing their therapy. Suddenly losing the rituals of parking the car, walking into the therapy centre and physically waiting to be collected before being lead up the stairs and into the physical and emotional sanctuary we call the therapy room. These essential anxiety reducing ceremonial practices have allowed clients to separate therapy life from the rest of their life and then, Bang! their therapist is intruding into the privacy of their own home, hijacking their living room or study, and perhaps even posing a very real threat of being exposed to the rest of their family. I cannot imagine how this must feel - how does one adjust to this?
But here we are and here I am, doing just that, zooming just about everyone who is amenable - and some who are less amenable and it seems to be working ok… for now anyway. In fact, I’ve surpassed my own perceived capabilities in embracing the world of remote communicating and am now the proud owner of a portal system to connect with the family remotely too. Yes me, and I am getting the hang of how to use it all too, not quite fully mastered the technical on and off switch just yet, but I am well on the way…