John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

Tips for using Teletherapy

Make sure you have privacy.

A good internet connect really helps.

Be careful about not having a bright light behind you.

Hey, it's technology. Sometimes it glitches. Keep your phone handy in case we need backup.

Earbuds and headsets seem to cut down on noise, but they are not strictly necessary.

You might give yourself a few minutes before a session to tune into your emotional state.

You might give yourself a few minutes after a session as a transition to whatever is next.

Coping During Lockdown

  1. Put yourself on a news diet. Limit how much you read about COVID-19.
  2. Check-in once a day with the stuff you need to know. ( is a pretty good source.) Then stop.
  3. Bring back the art of conversation. Try talking about things other than Coronavirus.
  4. I know the TV is an easy solution, and I'm not saying don't watch it. Just don't make that the only thing you do with your time. Do a hobby. Read a book. Play a board game with family members. Cook. Do some yard work.
  5. Go outdoors. This is one of the more under-rated things we can do to help ourselves.
  6. Give your dog or cat a little extra love. You'll both feel better.
  7. Sleep more. (Most of us don't get enough sleep.)
  8. If you work from home, tinker with your workspace. Can you make it better?
  9. Move your body. Don't just sit. Even if you don't have an exercise routine, go for a walk, ride bike, work in the yard…
  10. Watch a comedy. It helps to laugh.
  11. Re-read a favorite novel. (Revisiting something familiar can help with overwhelm.)
  12. If you have a partner, get physical. Affection, touch, sex—these things have the potential to sooth us, give us pleasure, and sometimes even heal us.
  13. Savor your food and drink. When we savor, we pay close attention to the experience of eating and drinking.
  14. Start a project. Look around. What needs fixing? Cleaning? Building? Creating?
  15. If you're working from home, take more breaks if you can. Especially if you have to do a lot of stuff with video conferencing, which seems to wear people out.
  16. Give your spiritual life some nourishment. Pray, meditate, read poetry, read holy books, or engage in introspective writing. These things are good for the soul.

COVID-19 Precautions

My policy about COVID-19 can be found by clicking here.

Else, we're all a little anxious about this, and rightly so. This is a challenging time.

We do not eliminate risk in life, but there are things we can do to minimize it. Do tune to what the CDC and our local health departments advise in terms of safety precautions.

But I might suggest that you limit the amount of time you spend on the internet following this story? Given that developments are happening quite quickly, it pays to find out what they are. But try not to ratchet up your anxiety unnecessarily.

Checking the internet once a day is probably enough.

Remember that there are many things about this situation that we do not control. The trick is to focus on what you can control, and accept those things that you can't.

Hang in there. Eventually life will get back to normal.

The Goose Who Laid Golden Eggs

So one morning a farmer discovers that his goose has laid a golden egg. This is a startling development, but a happy one. The next day, the goose lays another golden egg. This is fantastic, the farmer thinks. Indeed, the goose continues to drop golden eggs each morning. The farmer can’t believe his good fortune. With all that gold, he becomes a wealthy man.

And then greed sets in.

The farmer grows impatient. He decides he has to have
all the eggs — now. Thinking that the eggs are inside of the goose, he kills it. But of course the goose hasn’t made them yet. There are no eggs to get. Even worse, now that he's killed the goose, he has no way to get more eggs.

Steven Covey, his book
Seven Habits of Effective People, likens Aesop’s fable to the person who continually produces (works hards) but never takes time off to rest and renew himself. He greedily wants all the eggs, even if it comes at his own expense.

The moral is simple. You can’t always be producing. Sometimes you have to relax, rest, and renew yourself. Sometimes you have to shutdown production.

Don’t kill the goose.

The beginning of wisdom can be summed up in four sentences.

I'm sorry.
I was wrong.
I need help.
I don't know.