Spring has sprung and the pre COVID world is re-emerging one tiny step at a time as we vaccinate and cautiously open our doors for socially distanced interactions. According to this week’s CDC statistics, the United States is “winning” the death toll count with over a half-a-million people losing their lives. The level of intergenerational trauma will reverberate over decades. It is so mind boggling and heartbreaking. Over 3.1 million people on Earth have died from this illness. Many more have been infected.
It has been a challenging experience for clinicians as we navigated loss for ourselves and clients, anxiety about human contact, powerlessness regarding the worldwide loss of life, zoom fatigue, health scares and financial stressors. We know from the research that people of color are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Examples of injustice around access to healthcare and financial resources abound. Therapists are typically the holding environment for other’s pain and suffering. We take it on with courage, passion, and a love of others. No matter how high our tolerance for containing is, we likely suffered from emotional overload and increases in anxiety and depression the same as our clients.
Yet, in the words of Maya Angelou, and still we rise. Some of us learned how to tolerate the virtual world and even find surprising gifts in being forced to work a different way. We learned to adapt, support, and create healthy boundaries to reduce compassion fatigue. We got to spend time with our “bubble,” appreciate the gift of physical health if you escaped COVID, and be at one with nature. Many of us have decided to retire or move during “The Great Pause.”
If you practiced remotely, you are likely to keep that as an option for clients since it increases access and many clients like it better. Many of us like it better too. No traffic laden commutes or maintenance of physical space.
One enduring fact about humanity is we can endure great heartaches and still love, laugh and feel hopeful. While there is intergenerational transmission of trauma, there is also intergenerational transmission of resilience, strength, and hope. As our friends from the 12- step tradition say, it is “one day at a time.” Sometimes it is one minute at a time. Make space to mourn your losses from this difficult time so that you can renew your commitment to “living life on life’s terms” (more 12 step wisdom).
We are excited that SCTI is going live again later this year and offering virtual workshops too. Can’t wait to see you in person!