It all used to be pretty straight forward: I greet the client at my office door, we settle into our identical chairs, we exchange the usual pleasantries, we get down to business.
Much of that remains the same for counseling in the Covid-19 Era. But much has changed. Now we’re physically separated, I in my office and my client elsewhere. Now we speak to each other via phone, FaceTime, or Zoom. Before, no technology got in the way of our conversation; today, the predictable glitches remind us that electronic technology can fail us. A Luddite friend contacted me recently and said, “When this Covid-19 is over, I don’t want to ever hear the word Zoom again!”
But it’s all good. It really is. We can—and we must—adjust. And, frankly, I haven’t noticed any decline in counseling effectiveness when using technology. I do miss the physical presence of traditional counseling, as do my clients, but we’re noticing some benefits as well:
- My clients can meet with me from their homes or offices. How cool is that?
- They have more flexibility in scheduling because they don’t have to factor in drive time.
- For some, it feels more free and relaxing to be on one’s own turf in counseling situations.
In truth, I’m thrilled to be able to counsel through the limitations of Covid-19, a time during which we might need counseling more than ever. Do I look forward to being able to meet in person? You bet! I miss the greeting at the door, the handshake, the walking out together at the end of a session. But it will all come back. And I’ll be ready for it.
In the meantime, please stay safe!
A Personal Note
This month marks my fifteenth anniversary as a counselor, after thirty-four years in education. I am deeply appreciative of the hundreds of clients over the years who have shared with me their celebrations and their sorrows, their successes and their frustrations, their experiences of personal growth and their inevitable stumbles along life’s unpredictable path. I am honored that you trusted me with all that, and so much more. Thank you!