Hi everyone, I wanted to update you all regarding the health precautions and therapy options while our community and nation responds to the spread of COVID-19. As our community and world continues to do what we can to fight the virus, MTW is adjusting best meet the needs of clients while also doing our part to “flatten the curve.” Also, at MTW, we like having plans. 😊
This summer, MTW continues to offer all appointments via a secure video-conferencing portal. You should receive an automatic email prior to our session with a link to the portal. If you plan to use your phone for the session you may be prompted to download the Simple Practice App for telehealth sessions.
What we are doing:
- Maple Tree Wellness will continue to offer online “telehealth” appointments through Simple Practice and/or Doxy (if you don’t know, it’s like a HIPAA compliant Skype or FaceTime. If we decide to meet via Doxy, please meet me "here" https://doxy.me/mapletreewellness
- Preparing for online sessions:
- Our time together will feel much like our regular in-person meetings.
- You will need a phone or laptop with an internet connection.
- Please arrange to be in a quiet, private area. If you are an adult that may mean we “meet” in your home or car. Earbuds often help with sound and privacy issues, as does a fan or noise machine placed outside of the room you are in.
- If the session is planned to include a young child, you may need to help position your phone or laptop so that the child and I can see each other for at least part of the session and provide a few toys / art supplies to make the best use of our time and play together. Ideas include paper/markers/crayons, a few stuffed animals or puppets, a fidget or playdoh/putty, and a few other toys that your child enjoys. I'll have some toys on my end as well.
- If the session is planned to include a school aged child or adolescent, please consider how your child will be offered privacy within your home for some or all of the session and provide a few art supplies and/or fidget toys for your child to use during the session.
- Please know that the current literature and evidence shows that online counseling sessions have the same efficacy as in-person sessions for children and adults. It may feel a little funny at first, but you will adjust.
What you can do:
- If you are feeling scared or anxious, take a breath. One simple technique is called square breathing. Visualize your breath traveling along a square. As you follow the instructions to inhale, hold your breath, or exhale, count slowly to three on each side. Try it now. Inhale up the first side of the square. Slowly count one, two, three. Hold your breath across the top. One, two, three. Exhale down the other side of the square. One, two, three. Then hold your breath across the bottom. One, two, three. After a few minutes of this you should be feeling calmer and more centered.
- If you are feeling flooded or panicked, try to notice the environment around you. Here’s an exercise to try: 5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. It could be a pen, a spot on the ceiling, anything in your surroundings. 4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. It could be your hair, a pillow, or the ground under your feet. 3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This could be any external sound. If you can hear your belly rumbling that counts! Focus on things you can hear outside of your body. 2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Maybe you are in your office and smell pencil, or maybe you are in your bedroom and smell a pillow. If you need to take a brief walk to find a scent you could smell soap in your bathroom, or nature outside. 1: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like—gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch?
- And finally, if you are feeling scared or worried, do something else. Move your body: go for a walk, run or bike ride or do some exercise at home. Find something creative to do: color, knit, or cook something in the kitchen. Start a new project: start seeds, organize a drawer or cabinet, or call a friend. Remind yourself of what you can do rather than focusing on what we don’t know or can’t control.
- Remember, we will get through this.
Lauren Gourley, LCSW ~ 608-466-6411 ~ Maple Tree Wellness, LLC