Updated: Dec 7, 2021
It's been a rough couple years for all of us. Restrictions, fear, loss. We all have our ways of coping, with some choosing to turn to therapy.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I've had a significant increase in clientele. Further, I've noticed that more people are trying therapy for the first time. Why is that?
One theory is that therapy is more easily available, as many therapists have had to go online (myself included). This may explain part of the influx of therapy clients, but I think there's more to it.
What I'm seeing is those who already had difficulties managing their emotional lives, the lack of resources as well as increased anxiety makes it even more challenging. Further, if our nervous systems were already at capacity, the stress of the pandemic has sent it into overdrive, leading to overwhelm. Having less easy access to friends, family, colleagues, going to the gym, travel, etc. means we also have less resources for coping. Those of us living abroad can find this even more difficult, as there are literal borders keeping us from what we want and need.
In terms of what I'm seeing, clients are experiencing more stress, anxiety & burnout than before. Again, often people had difficulties before, but they seem to have intensified in the last two years with less ways of coping.
My own theory (based on my professional experience) is that the pandemic has many of us feeling anxious, less able to cope, but also - there's nowhere to hide from ourselves. If we have the tendency to ignore or distract ourselves from pain, the pandemic is making that less of a possibility. Distractions are less easily available, so we're tending to look inwards - not necessary because we want to, but because we don't have much choice. People are being faced with their pain and simply having to sit with it - which can really suck! It can also lead to growth and lasting change.
Luckily, more people are realizing that they don't have to do it on their own and therefore are reaching out to therapists for support. What a healthy response! Therapy can offer a stable, safe environment where you can explore your issues (we all have them!) as well as develop ways to manage overwhelm.
Want to give it a try? Reach out to schedule an appointment, or feel free to ask for a referral.