Therapist gives essential advice for everyone during lockdown

17 April 2020, 16:07 | Updated: 17 April 2020, 16:41

By Fiona Jones

Psychotherapist Lucy Beresford gives some excellent advice to the British public while in lockdown. A must listen.

"We are all going to be grappling with this in varying degrees of success and occasionally we will wobble. I think one of the key messages to put out there is there are very few people who are serenely gliding through this," she said.

Ms Beresford said people fall into three distinct camps:

- there are large cohort of people who have accepted the extension, knowing what three weeks of lockdown feels like and are gradually plodding through it

- another group of people who have been "really blindsided" by this, they may have experienced a bereavement, have an addiction which cannot be treated, or have an illness that cannot be treated

- a third camp of people are very thrown by this extension as the human brain craves clarity, so vague phrases like looking for the "light at the end of the tunnel" can be rather nebulous.

"We have to revert to our own inner strengths and resilience and some of us haven't been tested in that way and it's really hard to know how to develop resilience on the hoof," Ms Beresford said.

She told Shelagh it is a longstanding belief in psychotherapy that we learn more about ourself through the difficulties and obstacles we go through than when life goes placidly and smoothly.

Ms Beresford acknowledged that it will be extremely hard for some people to be positive as they may feel lonely and long for physical touch, which as humans we naturally do.

"If we can pivot this and see it as a chance for things to change in a positive way...if we know that most of us are in the same boat. If we can turn it around and see it as a chance to find out how we can grow."

For those who have lost people or are unable to finish their education, our normal endings have been affected, she said.

"If you can create some rituals...or a ceremony, these are ways in which you can counter the lockdown if you can't attend a funeral. If you can seize control back... and create those rituals in your home, you stand a better chance of having an easier grieving process because you'll be acknowledging those five stages of grief that happen."