Alan here. I hope you and your loved ones are well and that you are taking care of yourself and doing ok in these strange, tense times. In this time of crisis, I believe counselling can be a vital lifeline.

Corona virus (COVID-19) and the adaptations we are having to make to stay safe and slow the spread of the virus can present a real challenge to our mental health and emotional wellbeing. If you are feeling anxious about your health, your loved ones, your finances or your business, or concerned about the impact of social distancing and self-isolating on your lifestyle, mental health and wellbeing, counselling can really help.

Not being able to see loved ones, be at work, keep your usual structure and routine, go to the gym, attend work, college or university, attend your A.A meeting / support group, yoga or meditation class or socialise with your friends and family at coffee shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants can be deeply unsettling and disruptive, leaving some of us feeling disconnected, lonely and lacking the very things we rely on as coping mechanisms.

Self-care, wellbeing and taking care of our mental health feel particularly important at this time and I feel that continuing our therapy together through this unsettling time could be a very important form of emotional support for you, as well as maintaining some stability, normality and continuity when it feels like the world has turned upside down.

I have (somewhat stubbornly) maintained face-to-face appointments up until yeterday, as my feeling was that as long as sensible precautions were taken, face to face human contact could be very important at this unsettling time. I trusted and respected each client’s autonomy to make the decision for themselves as to whether to continue to come in person, or move online.

However, given we have moved into lock down since last night’s announcement (23/03/20) from the Prime Minister, at this point I wish to support my clients to follow the guidance and stay at home. Whilst counselling is essential to many of us for our emotional and mental health, we can continue that work online (or via the telephone) without taking unnecessary risks. I have considerable experience of working online and, whilst it is a little different to being in the room together, I believe it is an effective way to work. I offer online video sessions via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp video or FaceTime (whichever platform you prefer or are most comfortable and familiar with).

If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable talking in your home, we could even talk on the phone while you are going for a walk (the Prime Minister’s statement allowed for taking exercise outdoors once a day!) or we could use messaging or email counselling (I can talk you through this if you’re interested).

I am working flexibly and creatively to meet your needs and to allow us to continue our important work together.

As well as exercising, eating well, meditating and staying connected as best you can and social distancing allows, counselling can help you to “keep your head”, and take care of yourself mentally and emotionally in these strange times.

So if you’re already in therapy, let’s keep talking, you might need it now more than ever.

And if you’re not, maybe you’d like some extra support during this time? Get in touch – I’m here and I’d love to hear from you.

Take good care of yourself and I look forward to hearing from you,

warm wishes,