My client, Andy, came into my office suffering with symptoms of stress including sleeplessness, loss of appetite, binge eating and ever-present anxiety.He was house-bound and working from home due to Covid-19. He was feeling bored, isolated and lonely and he feared he would spiral down into deeper symptoms of depression. Other factors concerning him were the fires in California where his daughter lived; racial injustice and the upcoming tumultuous presidential election.
As we explored these issues, he revealed further personal concerns: a grandson who was failing out of school; his own serious physical challenges as well as memories of childhood trauma. With both external and internal challenges weighing him down, his coping strategies were failing.
In working with clients such as Andy, I have found that our ineffective coping strategies may stem from a traumatic life history. Often these familiar strategies are destructive for present challenges.
In therapy, we work to uncover these negative patterns in an atmosphere of warmth and understanding. Within this environment, we can then examine the client's life story and implement new strategies for managing stress and emotional difficulties.
As I talked with Andy, he came to understand that the overwhelming guilt he was currently feeling was a remnant from his traumatic past that he was now beginning to let go. Together, we identified realistic contributions that he could make in keeping himself and others safe and managing his own stressors in a more constructive way.
In our present circumstances, we are all experiencing an unprecedented amount of external challenges. In therapy, we can work to develop new and more effective coping strategies for both external pressures and internal stressors. Together, we can then turn weaknesses into strengths.
CONTACT: Ellen Toronto, Ph.D. 9714 Old Timber Lane Spring, TX 77379 Phone: 734-646-6387 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org