Lighthouse in Brittany

Covid-19

 

Synergy Psychotherapy cannot remove the risk of transmission of Covid-19 but have done everything we can to reduce it in our way of working; you will be asked to agree to this way of working if you opt to attend sessions. If you feel you are particularly vulnerable and/or have been given advice to shield please consider this carefully.

 

* These guidance points are typical for psychotherapy appointments in any event and will continue even after Covid-19 guidance ceases to apply.

Clinic precautions

Synergy Psychotherapy is committed to your safety during this time. We have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and: 

  • Have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place, in line with guidance.

  • Complete thorough and frequent cleaning, including disinfecting all contacted surfaces between appointments. 

  • Will keep the activity time (sessions) as short as possible (no longer than the allocated appointment time, i.e. 60 or 90 minutes)*.

  • Your psychotherapist will rearrange an appointment if they have signs of illness, have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, in the last 14 days.

  • Your psychotherapist participates in twice-weekly lateral flow tests and will respond accordingly if they test positive

Clinic attendance

  • Please do not attend the clinic if you feel unwell/have any signs (however mild) of Covid-19:

    • A cough – a cough that you haven’t had before or a worsening pre-existing cough.

    • A high temperature (if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back) or fever.

    • A change or loss of taste or smell (inability to taste or smell anything or smells and tastes have changed).

    • A new feeling of shortness of breath.

  • Please do not attend if you have been in contact with anyone who has symptoms as above or with confirmed Covid-19, in the 14 days prior to your appointment, unless exempt from self-isolation.

  • Please do not attend if you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the 14 days prior to your appointment.

 

  • Please only attend the clinic with an appointment*.

  • Please aim to arrive around five minutes before your appointment to enable you to feel ready and to be punctual, but no earlier. If you arrive earlier please wait in your car if you have driven or near the venue if you have not.

  • Please attend alone unless otherwise agreed*.

  • Hand sanitiser is provided for optional use on arrival.

  • Please bring your own tissues to the session as it is with regret that these cannot be provided during this time.

  • Please be prepared to leave the clinic once your appointment has ended.

Psychological wellbeing

It would be quite unusual to find our psychological wellbeing to be completely unaffected by the current, unprecedented circumstances we are in. We are facing a lot of uncertainty, having to live our lives differently including intentionally socially isolating and many of us have experienced illness, bereavements, job losses and financial insecurity, either personally or indirectly, or both. We may have experienced other stressors too including home-schooling and childcare issues and having to adapt to working from home.

 

It is completely natural and to be expected that our moods may have taken a dip in response to these times and we may be feeling anxious. Below is some guidance to manage your wellbeing and try to prevent low mood and anxiety from worsening in to depression or an anxiety disorder or to manage symptoms if they have developed.

 

Clock and Plant

Routine

Keep a daily routine including getting up and going to bed at roughly the same time each day. It can be helpful to loosely plan your day out particularly mealtimes as we can often be inclined to eat more frequently if we are spending more time at home and/or unabsorbed.

 

If you are working from home ensure you take breaks at the usual times and try to ensure you start and finish your day as you would if you were working out of the house.

Plan

Plan a mixture of activities for your day incorporating routine events such as mealtimes and washing, necessary tasks for example, washing dishes or vacuuming and pleasurable occupations for instance, reading or watching a film. Also consider a mix of absorbing, active and relaxing activities, for example doing a crossword (absorbing), going for a walk (active) and lighting candles (relaxing).

 

If you have reduced your activity as a result of low mood, low motivation or because of loss of role (e.g. losing a job) it can be important to start off small with activity and gradually build this up. 

Schedule
Cleaning Table

Break it down

If you are struggling with motivation break tasks down in to smaller steps e.g. rather than planning to clean the whole house this could be broken down in to rooms or areas of rooms (e.g. the bookcase in the living room) or tasks, e.g. dusting, vacuuming.

 

You could also try chunking your time, e.g. starting by doing some cleaning for 10 minutes; we often find that once we get started with a task our motivation will naturally increase once the momentum is going, a bit like a hamster on a wheel, it has to start walking to get the ball rolling.

Keep your mind active

Keep your mind active with thinking challenges such as Sudoku, crosswords, wordsearches, games like Scrabble etc. These tasks can improve our cognition including memory, concentration and reasoning.

crossword.jpg
Exercising

Keep your body active

Keep your body active with stretches, walks and fitness at home; there are many exercises which can be done with household items including using dining chairs to support your weight as you stretch, using canned goods as a substitute for weights or climbing up and down stairs. There are many freely available exercise programmes online including Youtube videos.

Connect

Stay connected with others, if not in person then by other methods, e.g. email, phone call, text message, video-call etc. This can also be indirect, e.g. donating to charity or writing reviews. 

Man Trying App
Notepad on Desk

List

If you are feeling overwhelmed with tasks it has been found to be helpful for some people to write a to-do list of tasks, break them down and prioritise them to help them feel more manageable; ticking tasks off a list when they’re completed can also provide a great sense of achievement and contribute to building your motivation.

 

Keep in mind that we all have down days from time to time; these are part of being human and are allowed! Keep plans flexible to ensure they remain helpful and do not become a problem in themselves and be kind to yourself.

 

If you find that low mood or anxiety is becoming a problem in itself by interfering with everyday life, lasting longer than usual and being accompanied with other symptoms (such as changes in appetite, sleep, energy levels, new or increased thoughts of suicide, difficulties concentrating and/or feeling excessively irritable) these may be signs of depression or an anxiety disorder developing and psychotherapy may be of benefit.

 

Should you be unsure if your difficulties have progressed to being symptomatic of depression or an anxiety disorder you could speak to your GP. An assessment with Synergy Psychotherapy may be helpful; if depression or an anxiety disorder are present, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may be of benefit.

Page last updated: 20/08/2021. All information correct at time of update but is liable to change; please refer to the latest Government guidance if in doubt and/or speak to your psychotherapist.