Coronavirus means all the rules have gone out the window and there is much more room for experimentation
I interviewed psychotherapist Lili Tarkow-Reinisch over the phone, rather than having an in-person session with her, but I still came away in a different mood: curiosity took the baton from hysterical rumination, at least for a bit. Tarkow-Reinisch pointed out that even if you’ve experienced anxiety before, or isolation, it hasn’t been global. “Is that some kind of compensation,” she asked, “if we’re suffering with others? Or does it make us more alone? We don’t have that answer yet. We’re going to discover this.” It is something we’re all discovering, at speed: how a single conversation can tilt the world back to normality, even if only by five degrees.
We know analysts prefer face-to-face contact, to an almost tyrannical degree. And we know we’re not allowed to have it right now. So the question is, are there upsides to remote therapy? Some analysts have been offering Skype sessions for some time, such as Anna Blundy, who co-founded the Mind Field for aid workers in conflict zones. “There’s a massive advantage in the lack of stigma attached,” she says, going on to describe how much of an impact that can have – whether that means people working in a very tight-knit environment who feel under surveillance, or people who would feel professionally tarnished if they showed any strain, or people who feel so ashamed of needing help that the act of travelling to get it makes them feel vulnerable, even if they’re unlikely to be seen.
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Author: Zoe Williams