By Corinne Yeadon
Being Better Private Therapy Practice closed its doors to visitors and clients towards the end of March. Since then all client contact has been via email, phone and video calls from the sanctuary of home. The priority became shielding my daughter who is clinically vulnerable, to say that we have been overzealous in terms of keeping her safe and managing risk is probably an understatement.
As restrictions have been lifted and conversations with medical professionals about my daughter’s welfare were had, reparations to cautiously move forward became inevitable and unavoidable. In addition to one to one talking therapy, our rooms are used by other
practitioners and professionals keen to resume providing services at some point in the future. Thus began the mammoth task of risk assessing in consultation with professionals and implementing measures to manage risk and ensure as much of a safe environment and service as is humanly possible. Thankfully, Skipton businesses are a supportive network and local guidance and information proved invaluable.
Working in the wellbeing industry felt like an additional layer of pressure and responsibility to get it right. We are in the business of supporting people to improve their lives not placing people at risk. We have been all too aware of the toll that lockdown has taken on pre-existing clients and new clients. It’s no surprise that if anxiety, low mood, bereavement or alcohol dependency is an issue, it’s going to be amplified when isolated from support networks and activities that increase wellness.
Thankfully, we are fortunate that the layout of our premises and space at High Street House supports safe distancing. Procedures and documentation were formulated for clients and others who use our space. Cleaning and the addition of cleaning kits are in full force. Who knew I would be so grateful for our bathrooms just outside our rooms! Fancy hand sanitiser, while being the required 70% proof, does not solely reek of alcohol, being mindful of those struggling with addiction and recovery is dotted about the premises, purchased from a local trader.
We wanted signage around the premises that promoted safe practice while remaining a welcoming space rather than a clinical environment. Dean The Chalkmaster himself came to our rescue, creating beautiful boards which in the future will be transformed to motivational and inspirational quotes.
Through the COVID crisis we have learned that for some people online and telephone support has proved to be a lifeline, however for others face to face support is the only way. We are unique and readiness to step out and re-integrate is an individual process. We will continue to provide video and phone calls as these have allowed us to be flexible and reach people who had restricted access due to location, caring responsibilities and work commitments. Although there have been requests for face to face sessions, we envisage this being a gradual process. Just like everyone else we are finding our feet and our way.
Being Better space will be opening from 27th July for room hire, classes/services with other practitioners. There will be some availability for face to face talking therapy sessions from 10th August. See social media and website for details. www.beingbetter.org.uk