The COVID 19 crisis has many personal and social challenges. It is therefore important, if not crucial, for us as professionals and as a profession to refocus on our basic skills and awareness. Of all mental health professionals, counselors focus on helping persons to search out and integrate their interior strength and personal resources to not only cope, but to thrive with the circumstances they are confronted with. It is important to re-integrate our strengths and our skills in response to our community’s and society’s needs. Society has become focused on fear. We need to help create a focus on hope.
What does this mean for LLPC/LPCs? MMHCA suggests the following:
- Take a look at your own apprehensions and fears. What can you do to manage them?
- Once you get a handle on your own fears and make a plan for managing them, you will be more available to your clients to help them do the same. Projecting a sense of calm and hope to your clients will be a tremendous help to them. Remember, stress affects us in direct proportion to the amount of control we perceive that we have over the stress.
- Triage the needs and safety of your clients. Are there those who can put therapy on hold for now if needed? Who on your caseload needs ongoing support? How will you provide this in the most clinically effective and safe way? Provide appropriate and confidential remote services, if indicated. Whether these services are reimbursed does not trump the clinical needs of your client.
- Remember the ACA Code of Ethics which states:
Section A.12. Abandonment and Client Neglect
Counselors do not abandon or neglect clients in counseling.
Counselors assist in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment, when necessary, during interruptions such as vacations, illness, and following termination.
- As counselors-in-training, we learned how to put our own issues temporarily aside to be available to our clients. Now is the time to call up on this basic skill. Although it won’t be easy, we will get through this together. As Licensed Professional Counselors, we are called on to show the way.
Contact James Blundo MMHCA Executive Director email@example.com, or submit your likes and comments on our MMHCA Facebook site.