"During Covid-19 Shelter in Place order, the procedures and ways to reach out and provide psychotherapy services for client have changed in significant ways, both positively and negatively.
On the negative side, we have been struggling with unpredictable changes in scheduling, appointments, and a slower intake process. Everything takes more time to do; we need to explain go over intake forms with parents by phone and help them set up and use the telehealth services.
Covid-19 has stressed families financially and with unavailable childcare. This adds and increases tension in the families we work with, on top of the emotional and mental difficulties they are already going through. Because of this, family priorities change and they are focused on surviving; even though they desperately need counseling, they cannot put their energy into it.
The lack of face-to-face contact has also blocked some of the natural relationship connections that happens when humans meet in person, making it more difficult to create trust and build rapport with clients and families.
On the positive side, in some cases, we have been able to go deeper into the client/family dysfunction by using Covid-19 as an example of how trauma affects us and how we need to take care of each other more so in times of struggle. We have also developed more awareness and force ourselves to be more present with clients than ever, due to not having face-to-face contact and not seeing body language.
We have seen more collaboration between agencies and colleagues and better teamwork within our program and agency. Another positive thing is that we have been given more information about community resources and there has been a lot of support from the community to help our families with rent assistance, childcare, paying bills, and getting food."
-Adrian Elizondro, LMFT