At Focus, we are committed to supporting you through the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. We know this will be a time of heightened anxiety, worry and isolation. For many people, access to professional help is needed now, more than ever. For this reason, we have pulled out all the stops to ensure our full range of therapies are available to access by telephone or online wherever possible. Our therapists will be available to work with you over the phone or by Skype/online if preferred.
Here are some useful points to consider if having your therapy by phone or online, particularly if you are self-isolating at home:
- Where will you be having your sessions? Is the environment private, free from distractions or interruptions?
- Is the device you’re using suitable? Is the software up-to-date and working? Do you have an adequate phone signal and/or internet connection?
- In general, therapists will withhold their telephone numbers when conducting telephone counselling. Is your phone set to accept calls from withheld numbers?
- Your therapist will agree with you the time and frequency of appointments, as they would with face-to-face sessions. If you miss their call, they will usually try again in 5-10 minutes. If you do not pick up, they will usually class this as a missed session, just as if you missed a face-to-face session.
- Telephone counselling can be quite different to face-to-face, as you will not be able to see your therapist. Therapy can be experienced quite differently when conducted this way. It may be helpful to discuss these differences with your therapist and agree how you will manage them together.
- When attending a face-to-face appointment, there is usually travel time before and after your session, to prepare before and process afterwards. How might you do this at home? Perhaps consider ways you might ‘virtually travel’ to and from your sessions at home?
- If a session brings up difficult or painful material for you, is there support available at home after sessions, either from somebody in your household or a family member/friend on the phone?
Also, here are some useful resources to help you look after your wellbeing during the pandemic. We will keep updating this page as and when new guidance becomes available, so please do check-in regularly!
Our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Sarah, has put together this fantastic guide to managing anxiety during the pandemic. Based on the principles of low-intensity CBT, the guide will arm you with lots of practical tools and techniques to help you worry less during this time.
You can read the guide here.