There are times when I revel in working on my own in my online private practice. I like being able to choose the work I do, set my own schedule, and work at my own pace [to name a few of the advantages].
Then there are the times when it feels lonely. It’s just me and my computer and occasionally my cat for company. Sometimes I would like to debrief a session, find out about resources, ask for suggestions on ways to proceed with a client, or simply connect in person. Taking a moment to talk with a colleague can be a way to clear my head and refocus my attention and energy.
Don’t get me wrong. I have colleagues in the online counselling world– amazing, experienced, gifted, supportive colleagues – with whom I feel deeply connected. Sometimes I just wish I could walk down the hall to talk with them or have coffee/lunch together while sharing information, resources, and maybe even the story of our lives [which, considering they are scattered across Canada, would be a long road trip!].
Here are some of the things I do to counterbalance the solitary nature of my work.
First, I stay as connected as possible to my online counselling colleagues via email. We have e-staff meetings and coffee breaks, engage in discussions about relevant issues and share resources.
I am a member of the Online Counselling LinkedIn group [amongst others]. I follow the discussions with interest and have the sense of being part of a much larger community.
And when I find myself talking to my cat just to hear a human voice– I make sure I get out of my office and spend time in person with colleagues in my geographic community.
It’s all about knowing when I need to connect in person. And that is part of my recipe for contentedness (see Victoria Lorent-Faibish’s post of Sept. 27/11).
The opinions expressed in this blogpost are personal.
Dawn Schell, MA, CCC is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA