It started with a simple three-word question “How are you?” when I realised that the person asking really was listening and actually wanted to know how I was.  This was not the polite greeting ritual given in passing that is part of our everyday life.

Another day, there was a chicken.  Then some milk and bread.  And fresh laid eggs.

Then a smile, and a wave.  And more questions about how I am and whether I need anything.

To quote Charles Dickens – “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”.

Our present crisis is bringing out the best in people who are looking out for each other.

And there’s also a rise in domestic violence.

Our present crisis is bringing out the best in people as they run errands, help with deliveries, find supplies and make necessary PPE equipment in the most unexpected ways and places.

And many of us are in very real and tangible financial difficulty and emotional despair.

And all those experiences will impact on our emotions and our lives for a long time in the future.

And they will inform how we get back into whatever we can get back into whenever we can actually get back into it.

We all need that outbreak of kindness to continue.

And as therapists we need to find the right balance for us in our work on an individual basis.  Therapeutic work may often feel a vocation, but it’s also our paid employment.  But we need to be gentle.  And kind.  We need to hold boundaries.  And we need to find the points of flexibility, whether that’s with location, technology, fees, number or length of sessions, and any other relevant aspect of the work.

And in order to be there for our clients, we need also to ensure we ask ourselves the question, “How are you?”

And listen.