Less visible damaging impacts of Covid-19 on our mental health

By Maurice Garvey

SOME of the less visible, yet damaging impacts Covid-19 has accelerated are the mental health issues people are facing.

Social distancing is anti-social for many isolated residents, and unemployment figures have gone through the roof - currently at 26 per cent.

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In line with these issues, newly established Lotus Counselling in Clondalkin, are offering reduced rates.

“I want to go down the route of reduced rate therapy – not everybody is going to be able to afford the standard €60 per hour rate, but I will make it affordable,” said Claire Corby.

Originally from Clondalkin, Claire is an experienced counsellor/psychotherapist who has recently moved back to Dublin 22 - establishing Lotus Counselling at Edenvale House, 1 New Road.

Covid-19 has put a spanner in the works for normal one-to-one therapy sessions, but Claire has kept a connection with clients through phone and virtual sessions.

“I have found it is ok. Over the phone is not ideal but for virtual, I am using Doxy, which a lot of medical people use, and that is a lot better. In these times, people really need support. A lot of the one-to-one sessions had to go but you would have thought they were essential services.

“Anxiety if on the rise from this (Covid-19). Perhaps an over-vigilance from germs. I was reading an article and children are getting anxiety, they don’t have as much a grasp on it as adults. It’s going to be a huge challenge and it is hard to know, until we go through all the phases.”

Claire is looking forward to welcoming clients back into her Clondalkin Village premises in two weeks’ time.

“The feedback I have been getting is that some clients want to wait until it is safe to come back. Also, clients I am seeing through organisations, have said they want to continue online sessions.”

Highly qualified in her field, Claire is trained in integrative counselling and psychotherapy, and does not follow one particular discipline or school of thought.

“It is not a one size fits all approach,” she said.

“I use all types of therapies. Cognitive therapies are very beneficial for anxiety, understanding behaviour and trying to reframe that.

“I do a lot of mindfulness therapy. A lot of clients I’m seeing right now have got anxiety. It is about trying to keep people in the present moment and it ranges from person to person. It is a client centred approach. My focus is on what they are looking for.”

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