Ednesha begins the episode by telling listeners about her experience of close friends and family contracting COVID even though they are vaccinated. Diana adds on her own personal experience of having COVID come into her household. The two therapists reflect on their previous decision to return to full time in-person therapy in September. Now, the two are giving pause to their previous plans. They are unsure if they are comfortable with the decision, and they are unsure if their patients are comfortable.
Next, the two talk about what it would mean to go back to in-person work. Not only would they be seeing multiple people face-to-face for the first time since March 2020, they would also be having to commute. Being on the New York Subway at the moment is scary. As the Delta variant becomes more widespread, the women want to limit their exposure to other people, and the Subway is packed with people. They also discuss that some of their new clients have never met with them in person. As Ednesha says, some patients find it weird that their therapists know so much about them even though they haven’t met face to face before. There would have to be yet another acclamation period for these patients. One benefit they mention, is that COVID has demonstrated to insurance companies that virtual therapy works and should be covered.
After a short break, the women return to talking about the logistics of taking time off of work. They discuss how American culture has cultivated shame and guilt around the idea of taking time off of work. Businesses push productivity and not mental health preservation. When returning to work, it is important to advocate to your employer your anxieties about in-person work. To close out the episode, the duo talk about respecting people’s boundaries when returning to work. Ask peers before touching or hugging them, etc.
Thank you so much for tuning into BeREAL this week. Be on the lookout for an all new episode next Tuesday. In the meantime, make sure to catch last week’s episode about In Treatment on HBO.
To schedule a therapy appointment text BeWELL to 484848 today