In the past, we've talked about how talk-therapy, importantly, is not the only answer to processing adversity. The many other practices of processing stress remain just as key as they ever have been, including:
However, in days of physical distancing during a pandemic, finding creative means for community storytelling, or community or family memorial-making, comes to the forefront. Concurrently, the need to verbally express what has been happening also comes to the forefront. Not only is this because talking, in general, can be helpful, but also because having our experiences witnessed by a caring person helps to generate metabolizing and agency hormones that counter our "fight or flight" and stress hormones.
Thus, in times when we cannot physically be together, it is important – especially for behavioral health practitioners – to facilitate and host ways for expressing what's been happening. As most people have far fewer opportunities for natural verbal processing through common public interactions, telehealth is helping to solve that gap. Significantly, telehealth does not have to be only formal therapy. For example, in some communities, volunteers are mobilizing to make casual "check-in" calls. These volunteers may be part of faith-communities, counseling centers, or other types of social service agencies or neighborhood collectives. In Santa Barbara, CA, for example, participants and partners of the Community Wellness Team, including Hospice of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Response Network, and many congregations, are providing this type of service.
Is your community providing this type of assistance? Share how in the comments below.
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