What are the biggest challenges for you working your role from home?
It’s a little more difficult establishing a therapeutic connection with people you’ve never met when working remotely and you have to meticulously plan out sessions in advance so you can send out support resources and have everything you need at your fingertips. But it’s been working quite well and has helped me develop different skills.
What do you like most about working from home? What has surprised you?
I enjoy not having to travel–the extra hour and a bit I get back each day is a nice treat. I also like having my dogs at my feet during appointments and being able to have lunch with my daughters.
I’m really surprised at the level of resourcefulness and resilience. It’s wonderful seeing such a concrete example of how adaptable and caring people are.
Have you got a favourite/dedicated place at home to work?
Yes and no. We have a detached studio that I can use, but my partner is an Art Therapist who is also working from home at the moment and we’ve dedicated that space to his massive assortment of art supplies. I’m at the kitchen table while I’m working on the computer, and in the spare room when I’m in confidential appointments.
Any funny, unexpected things that have happened as a result of working from home?
I’m really enjoying getting to meet pets, siblings and parents. I had a session the other day with a really friendly rabbit sitting in. That was pretty cool.
What do you miss most about physically going to school?
I miss being face to face with students and being able to solve problems with them in the moment. We can still do some of that, but a text or email is a bit different to being able to just drop in to the Wellbeing office. I miss being able to physically pass a box of tissues, or offer someone a glass of water when they’re upset—small things that show you’re listening and you care.
I also really miss being face to face with my team. We support each other a lot and are powered by cups of tea and belly laughs, so the days do pass a bit slower working remotely.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
Keeping connected is what always gets us through times of crisis and it’s even more important now we’re physically distancing. We need to make sure that we reach out when we can, deepening existing connections and making new ones, offering to help others even if it’s through silly distractions and sharing ridiculous memes. And don’t forget to check on the people who seem to have it all together. There’s a lot of pressure to be seen as productive and in control, but cycling through a range of emotions is really normal. After all, none of us has had any practice living in ISO in a pandemic. We need to be gentle with ourselves. We’re all learning as we go.