PTCNY member, Wendy Freund, LCSW, has written a thoughtful essay that discusses our current unprecedented times. She writes in an artful way as to how so many of us feel and how psychotherapy can help us through these very difficult times. Read the essay below:
Life in Uncertain Times
This article addresses the need for change, growth and even thriving in uncertain times.
These are unusual times, unpredictable and unsettling.
We find ourselves facing situations that we are unprepared for and we are uncertain about the future. Hostile identity politics, political unrest, health crisis, violence and economic uncertainty are at the top of many of our lists of concerns. The extended stay-at-home orders have brought to many of us a long and hard look at our current situations. We will come out of this experience with a “new normal” but we don’t know what it will be and may not know for a long time. Now more than ever, clients and their therapists are in this together. Therapists can help their clients find contentment, even joy, in these new times by are restructuring their lives and relationships. New and satisfying routines are being developed.
Many people report feeling anxious, depressed and having trouble getting a good night’s rest. They want to be prepared and strong in order to look ahead and make choices that are meaningful in the short and the long term. Through careful listening, therapists help people build more stable personal narratives, consider a wider range of choices and improve their relationships. People need to identify and articulate their emotions and use them to move ahead more productively with their lives while managing their feelings so that they don’t become overwhelmed. Finding meaning, passion and power can enrich life and enable people to face these uncertain times.
Therapists can be helpful in the short and long term. I don’t think things will be the same but the new may not be so bad. New habits like meditation, walking, and exercising can beneficial and have lasting effects. We also learn that we can’t sit back and do nothing, this is a time to stand behind your beliefs and make a lasting change—it is good for you and it is good for all of us.