Reflections for the inner life.
A Reflection by Hayne Steen
Earlier this year my wife and I purchased a new home on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, Florida. It's literally our dream home in our dream location. On the evening my wife and I drove to sign all of the closing documents for the home, I experienced a wave of breathtaking anxiety sweep over me and in me. The "What If" monster had successfully snuck into the room of my head and heart to invoke a frightening level of fear. I remember driving home from that closing event in complete silence. For the next week, I could not shake this feeling of dread and doom.
Over the next couple weeks, a couple things happened that were really helpful. First, I shared my anxious experience with a couple trusted friends and family members. I can't imagine a prison more punishing than to live in the pain of anxiety alone. I am grateful for the continued reminder in Genesis that, "it is not good for man to be alone."
Friends, I want to encourage you. In these moments when pandemics and power mongers seek to bully and intimidate, it is not good for you be alone either. Many around the world are being forced into various forms of quarantine. Our quarantines do not have to equate to soul crushing solitary confinements.
One of the most helpful resources I have personally enjoyed over the last few months has been a book by Max Lucado called, "Anxious for Nothing - Finding Calm in a Chaotic World." I've nibbled and sipped on the words of this text for 3 months. Slowly, as Max points us to the beauty and wonder of God's goodness, I've sensed a growing sense of peace taking root within me.
You may ask, "Is there something specific in the book that stands out to you as a helpful resource for crippling anxiety?" Yes.
One of the connections Max makes with anxiety is its relationship to unresolved regret. In chapter 3, Max writes;
"Maybe there is someone on the planet who has not known the quagmire of remorse, but I've never met that person. What sucked you under? Maybe your guilt is the result not of a moment in life but a season in life. You failed as a parent. You blew it in your career. You squandered your youth or your money.
The result? Guilt.
A harsh consequence of the guilt? Anxiety.
Surprised? Lists of anxiety triggers typically include busy schedules, unrealistic demands, or heavy traffic. But we must go deeper. Behind the frantic expressions on the faces of humanity is unresolved regret."
When anxiety shows up in my life it seems to be deeply connected to areas of attended heartache or more simply, unresolved grief. That's what one hour with a spiritual director recently uncovered for me as well.
What about you?
Are you coming into contact with your own unresolved regrets or unattended heartaches that show up in forms of low or high grade anxiety?
"What kind of person does unresolved guilt create? An anxious one."
I'd highly recommend picking up the book, "Anxious for Nothing" by Max Lucado and take full advantage of the FREE online video study series Max has made available to us online.
I'd also recommend reaching out to speak with someone in this season that has the power to stir lots of anxiety triggers. As a counseling practice, we've intentionally reduced our fees nearly in half in order to promote the possibility for people to access counseling resources.
REDUCED RATES UNTIL APRIL 30, 2020
Licensed therapists one-hour fee - $60/per session
Pre-licensed therapists one-hour fee - $50/per session
Graduate intern one-hour fee - $25/per session
Please don't hesitate to TURN HERE. We'd love to help!
by Hayne Steen, LMHC
Telehealth can be a powerful resource for your therapeutic good. “Tele” is a Greek word meaning distance and “meden” is a Latin word meaning “to heal”. Time magazine called telemedicine, “healing by wire.” At Elbow Tree, we want to leverage the distance between us for the ongoing work of your healing. That’s why each of our Elbow Tree therapists are taking a few minutes now to help their clients become oriented to engaging in psychotherapy in this online space.
THE FOUR COMMITMENTS
1. Make Appointments & Keep Appointments.
As you schedule appointments with your Elbow Tree therapist, keep in mind that the time has been specifically set aside for you and you alone. Elbow Tree therapists are committed to preserving your requested time and taking steps to create a distraction free and confidential experience for you. Elbow Tree’s cancelation policy remains in effect. Should you experience a medical emergency or death in the family, please give your therapist as much notice as possible. Should you “no show” or make a last minute cancellation (inside the 24-hour window from your appointment date and time), you will be charged the full session fee.
2. Limit Background Noise.
Before you log on to your phone or computer for your scheduled counseling session, please thoughtfully consider WHERE you will locate yourself. We find that minimizing distractions will lead to the continuity of your counseling session. Dogs barking, dishes clanging, doors opening, and children interrupting have the potential to derail positive momentum you may be making in a session. We’d like to suggest communicating in advance what you need from your family to help preserve the sacredness of the counseling space.
3. Keep it Confidential.
In our physical offices in St. Augustine, we are able to ensure each therapy session is held completely confidential. Online, we are equally as committed to protecting your confidentiality. We’ll need your help to sustain this. We recommend securing a location to sit that provides the sound and sight security that will be required.
Whether you are sitting in a bedroom, a home office or in the sound proof booth of your personal vehicle, be mindful of “sound bleed” which is sound that others can overhear. Earbuds or headphones can help guard against what is transmitted TO you. We also want to protect what is transmitted FROM you. In our offices you may recall that we have sound machines running outside every office that is in session. We won’t be able to provide you with one of those so space selection becomes even more crucial. Elbow Tree therapists will be checking in at the beginning of each session to ask for your precise location. This is (1) to ensure you are in a secure confidential environment and (2) to fulfill our ethical responsibility of ensuring the emotional and physical safety of every client should anyone ever report suicidal ideation or intent.
4. Check your Tech
Whatever device you elect to use, please request a complimentary test run of your technology with your therapist prior to your first online session to ensure;
• Apps have been downloaded correctly.
• Cell phone coverage is strong enough.
• WIFI or internet service is sufficient.
We do not want waste valuable therapy time syncing up technology. We have found that performing a test run can of our respective technologies significantly helps advance the therapeutic process. There is often nothing more triggering for clients than showing up to therapy online and then spending valuable therapy time trouble shooting their technology.
Hopefully, by doing a test run, we can work out as many of the bugs as possible prior to your appointment. Occasionally, we may still encounter technical difficulties on either end of the user experience. We’ll do our very best to place ourselves in a secure location with strong internet service on devices that can handle the task of meeting with you online.
Thank you for trusting Elbow Tree in this season as we navigate this new moment in history when we seek alternative means for helping maintain the continuity of your counseling experience. We look forward to journeying with you in this season and we look forward to the opportunity of meeting with you face to face as soon as we are cleared medically and legally to do so.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.