Our Program Response to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic
As the pandemic hit, life for therapists abruptly changed along with everyone else’s. Our psyches and central nervous systems are unprepared. At the same time, more is expected of us. We left our offices to shelter at home. A video image replaced the comfort of seeing, sensing and sharing a common and familiar space with our clients and with each other.
The pandemic has created a collective trauma to which no one is immune. How it specifically affects each of us, our communities and our clients continues to unfold.
In these three workshops, Womencare is proud to invite clinicians to think and reflect with us during these uncertain times.
The Wounded Therapist During a Collective Trauma
Fear and dysregulation are normal and intensified in times of threat, danger and isolation. This is true both for us and for our clients. How to honor our wounds from the past and trust our resilient capacities becomes even more crucial now.
During this collective Trauma, our work with our clients becomes more complex and more necessary. In this workshop we will discuss :
- The wounded healer: understanding the false binary.
- Identifying reactions to our collective trauma in both the therapist and in our clients.
- Affect regulation: ours and our clients in these difficult times.
- The impact of isolation and social distancing on early attachment issues.
- Our trauma history as an asset and as an additional vulnerability.
- Triggers: the air we breathe.
- Tools: awareness of shame, perfectionism and use of mindfulness.
- Re-definition of hope in times of darkness.
Friday, May 8, 2020 (8:30-10:00am)
Self & Community Care During a Pandemic for Therapists of Color*
The current global pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color with people of color dying at higher rates than non-people of color in cities like Chicago and St. Louis. This is yet another crisis that is bringing out and deepening old wounds amongst communities of color perpetuated by white supremacy, white fragility, and racism.
Let us counter this by coming together and sharing our stories of survival and resilience amidst all the hopelessness and despair. This will be a gathering for therapists and clinicians of color. It will be a time for us to hold space for each other as we honor the depth of our feelings and celebrate our ancestral wisdom and knowing.
In this workshop we will:
- Create a container to hold all of our feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic
- Discuss the unique ways BIPOC have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
*This workshop is for people who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC). Clinicians who are bi- or multiracial are also welcome.
Friday, May 15, 2020 (8:30-10:00am)
When Shelter Does Not Mean Safe: Treating Complex Trauma During COVID-19
In this time of “Sheltering at Home” to counteract the threat of COVID-19, many of our clients are experiencing the destabilizing and dysregulating feelings of being trapped. Life changing events are spinning beyond their control, creating a sense of powerlessness and increased vulnerability.
In addition, for many trauma survivors “home” has been and may still be a source of fear and danger, rather than a shelter that provides safety in frightening times. This current crisis can activate disquieting and troubling feelings from a traumatic past. Many survivors resort to trauma based coping strategies such as disconnection, dissociation, numbing, self-injury and flooding.
This workshop is a discussion of trauma treatment, recognizing that the therapist is experiencing a shared trauma. As therapists, we are also facing the need to fortify regulation skills and establish safe coping strategies.
We will discuss ways for therapists to:
- Identify the impact of Covid-19 in Complex Trauma survivors.
- Understand connections between Covid-19 environment and current traumatic symptoms.
- Identify adaptive responses and increase understanding of coping skills.
- Increase awareness of affect regulation and impact in treatment.
- Understand treatment implications using new technologies and the issues that have arisen from the change in the treatment frame.
Friday, May 22, 2020 (8:30-10:00am)