How We Cope Sometimes (Now With Crutches!)

This is an exceedingly difficult time; I’m sure you won’t disagree. I’m having trouble focusing and mostly just want this whole year to be over with, but I know that Coronavirus doesn’t just expire on December 31st, so I’m not even sure what I’m waiting for, exactly. 

Things are hard, and they have been for months, and they might continue to be, without an exact end date. 

Those of us who gravitate towards control and preparedness are not built for this sort of spontaneous-apocolaypse-type-situation. 

But – here we are. 

Conventional therapy often leans hard into eschewing “crutches” of any kind – something about weakness; that we should all just be able to handle whatever comes our way with pure objectivity and serenity, and if and when we don’t it’s because we’re weak people. I’m not sure where this notion came from (the Great American Value Vault, I would guess), but I don’t see how this approach is A) realistic and viable, and B) mentally healthy. When we come up against tiny challenges, sure – lets gently stretch ourselves and see how we do. But when we’re living through the impermeable mammoth of a beast that is 2020, some crutches are in order, and necessary. Because at this point we’re all hobbling around with broken legs – every last one of us. 

Here’s some thoughts on giving yourself the support you deserve and need to get you through today, and tomorrow, and possibly even the month:

  1. Now is not the time for self-improvement. Focus on the baseline things: eating, hydrating, sleeping, and socializing with your people in whatever ways you are able. If you want to because it feels good, move your body. If you want to because you’re out of energy, rest. These are the only things that need to matter right now, and maybe for the foreseeable future. 
  2. Take your time. I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the need to take breaks much more frequently than I used to. I’m less productive than usual, which always sounds certain alarm bells for me (and many other like-minded individuals I know) – but that’s okay. The alarms can sound, and I can thank them and carry on without turning into a production machine right now. It’s not a time of creation (for me, and maybe for you) – it’s a time of respite. 
  3. Find solace in the small things that make you smile. I’m watching Gilmore Girls for the 800th time, and it is bringing me so much comfort. So is petting my cats, and delicious cups of tea, and Lindy West’s new book, and the birch trees on my walking path. Simple little things I can still appreciate are worth their weight in gold. 
  4. Give yourself room to be scared, or frustrated, or sad. There are many of us that are grieving right now – for the state of our country, for lost time, for people that have passed. Grief takes time and is appropriate and reasonable. There is nothing weak about being completely pissed or depressed or terrified right now – literally anything goes. If those emotions come up for you, respect them and give them the space they deserve. You aren’t losing your grip – you’re coming to terms with a difficult reality and that brings up Hard emotions. Allow for them. 
  5. Talk. Say the things. Say what matters to you, say how you feel, speak your truth, be authentic. In this time we need to give ourselves room to be flawed and to ask for help and to share our experience. If we wall ourselves off from each other, we are only further isolated in this already immensely isolating experience. If you can benefit from a therapist or a coach, get one. If you think a support group would help you, join one. If you have a best friend you’ve already called twice this week, call them again. It’s ok. It’s necessary. 

I don’t know what is going to heal us or get us to the other side of all of this. I have no special therapist-y advice for getting better or feeling better – I’m not there yet, and I doubt very much that most other people are, either. So, let’s sit in the not-okay-ness, and give ourselves permission to be not okay. 

I hope all this ends soon. But if not – I’m happy to sit in it with you. 


Useful Information

Some frequently asked questions and useful answers.

Online therapy works in the same way as in-office therapy, but is done online, similar to a Skype or FaceTime conversation. Clients are able to have sessions from home, work, or any other convenient location. We meet with clients using a HIPAA-compliant secure platform.

Online therapy allows you to work with us from the comfort of home, or any private location of your choosing. For some, the screen provides an added layer of comfort that makes the challenging work of being vulnerable in therapy a little easier.

Online therapy also creates the unique opportunity for you to work with us without the constraints of proximity! The practice was born in Keene, New Hampshire, but has since grown to service clients anywhere in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Florida, and New Hampshire.

Online therapy is a great option for clients that travel for work, for college students that go home during the summertime and do not want a break in their sessions, and for anyone with a challenging or inconsistent day-to-day schedule. It is an excellent choice for clients seeking a therapist with a particular specialty that they are unable to find support for locally. Some of our clients report that online therapy makes the vulnerability element of therapy a bit less intimidating.

No. For some clients with more complex symptoms or safety concerns, having a local therapist that is readily available is important in case of crisis or the need for a higher level of care. Online therapy is also a challenge for clients that do not have access to a private, quiet space to be “in session” for the hour, or for those that do not have adequate internet connectivity.

There are several reasons why we don’t accept insurance. The most important are:

Confidentiality. Insurance companies require that your information be shared with them in order to pay for services. We prefer that clients’ information is kept as confidential as possible.

The pressure to diagnose. Insurance companies require that clients are given a mental health diagnosis in order to pay for therapy. We have found that many clients benefit from therapy, but do not meet criteria for a diagnosis. Not using insurance allows clients to access therapy without being given a mental health diagnosis.

Flexibility and freedom. Insurance companies dictate the length and number of sessions they will authorize, as well as when a client is no longer eligible for the benefits of therapy. Because we do not work with insurance panels, you and we can collaborate to determine your individual needs regarding session length, frequency of sessions, and when to terminate therapy.

While we do not accept insurance, many clients choose to submit receipts to their insurance companies to receive reimbursement via out-of-network benefits. We are happy to provide these receipts for you! Please check with your insurance company for details on your benefits.



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