- Louise Coughlin
I thought I would write some reflections on the last 6 months. There was a lot of anxiety around in March, this ranged from my therapy clients, staff and students I supervised, colleagues, family members and friends. As a nation, as a world, there was fear and anxiety. I was not immune from this. During my ACT training it was drilled in to us 'practice ACT on yourself'. Never has it been more true than the last few months. I might be talking to someone about their own concerns and I would hear my mind telling me I was in danger, or my mind would be advising me to stop listening because it was increasing my own anxiety. I found techniques such as dropping anchor and safe place invaluable to make sure that I could still be the supportive therapist, colleague, supervisor, friend or family member that I wanted to be. Of course I felt anxious, and, in part, that anxiety helped me make safe choices, but unhooking from this meant that I could still go out for a walk or a run, or I could make my weekly (and if I could manage it, fortnightly) supermarket shop. I missed my loved ones, I missed my colleagues and I missed my clients. I lost a consultancy position that I had held for 6 years. I was sad about that and I wallowed a bit. I felt guilty for wallowing when so many people were dealing with the harsh reality of the effects of COVID-19. I could have carried on wallowing which would be taking myself away from my goals but I managed to unhook myself and started walking towards all that mattered. I embraced being at home and all that bought, the conversations, the games, the laughter, reruns of Ab fab on Iplayer. I realised what I wanted to change and what I wanted to keep the same. I have been lucky. I am thankful for those close to me who have been with me during the last 6 months and who continue to be my rock.