Confidential Peer Support Committee Reports/Updates

September 2020

Do you feel like you signed up for a 5K and you reached what you thought was the last leg only to learn that you actually signed up for a marathon, a marathon that could turn into an ironman? There is no doubt that we are in it for the long haul. We have shifted our practices to digital platforms. We are navigating the new challenges of a therapy frame without the traditional boundaries of our office walls, and, for many of us, the added difficulty of our personal and professional space overlapping. We are not getting the restorative time we need, as we are restricted by the constraints of a global pandemic. We are all aware that the mental health repercussions of this time will extend out into the future.

Many of us are working to support others, including front line workers, with processing the rapid changes we are confronted with on a daily basis. We are also processing grief, grief for the losses we have sustained and grief of our clients for the loss of activities, community, future planning, and a sense of ease and contentment.

The APA article titled “As COVID-19 cases increase, so does trauma among health providers” addresses strategies for assisting frontline workers with their own trauma. I wanted to highlight the importance of two parts of this article.

  1. Enhancing support: We are not in this situation alone. We need support to manage the work we are doing every day.
  2. Collective trauma: We need to consider what we are going through as a collective trauma and how trauma happening on a collective scale presents unique challenges and may require different strategies for coping and healing. As mentioned in the article, Nadine Kaslow’s work on making meaning of trauma offers some guidance for how we may proceed in our own personal work and the work we offer to others in regards to our collective trauma.

The Confidential Peer Support Committee is here for you. If you want to reach out to reduce isolation or feel supported, please contact us. If you are questioning how to navigate any of these challenges, we are here to offer confidential support and guidance. If you want to have a conversation about how to make meaning during this challenging time, don’t hesitate to call any of us.

We may be running a marathon but we don’t have to do it alone and we can find support along the route.

Confidential Peer Support Committee Members

Marcia Wood, PhD - Chair
503-248-4511

Jennifer Huwe, PsyD
503-538-6045

Rebecca Martin-Gerhards, EdD
503-243-2900

Colleen Parker, PhD
503-466-2846

Maura Sullivan, PsyD
503-616-8488