Ok, so you’ve seen me in my PPE gear, don’t I look… well, you can’t tell because my face is covered. I could be happy, sad, fed up, bored, anxious or maybe even sucking on a polo mint and you’d never even know!

As a homeopath who, pre Covid, was working from a multi-disciplinary clinic I am fortunate that I can work with my clients online in my own safe bubble at home. Mask need not be worn and you can see the expression in my face and the connection I have to the emotions in your story, albeit through a computer screen. You see, how I respond to your story is so very, very important. I’m listening, I’m holding space for your emotion, I’m sharing in your pain. My face may mirror what you are saying and I know that this is a deep part of the connection I have with clients. I’ve been told I have a hugely expressive face – when I was a teacher my form group voted me the most smiley teacher because they said I smiled even when my mouth wasn’t smiling. I think they meant that my face has this way of reciprocating emotion. So I ask myself how would I feel talking to a homeopath or life coach when facial features are covered, knowing that patients weren’t getting the full service? After all we buy into a therapist if we know, like and trust them.

If I went to my homeopath and they were covered then I’d personally feel like I wasn’t listened to, that my story and my pain wasn’t worthy enough, just another job on the therapist’s to-do list before they headed home to their safe environment. I also wonder how much I am missing from clients who wear a Burqa and then feel deep guilt because I am an advocate of personal choice when it comes to religious coverings. Am I being hypocritical?

I think about the PPE gloves and I feel fine with that. Handling remedies and medicines with gloves on feels fine, but why should it feel ok to cover my hands but not my face? Although, I actually hate the feel of latex gloves and the squeakiness of them is a bit grating.

Covering a chair with protective couch roll is possibly one thing that is being mooted.  We then throw it away after our client leaves the room and then I feel guilt about the environmental impact of throwaway paper and I’m not comfortable with that as a big part of my values as a therapist is sustainability and environmental impact.

Is it better to see you in person than to see you through a screen? Zooming is great, but doing more than 3 sessions in succession is hard for the sensitive soul who feels the impact of over-exposure to IT.  I’m open to feedback and would love to know what my clients are thinking. My colleagues who work in the touch-based arena of therapies such as massage, osteopathy or acupuncture (to name but a few) don’t have this dilemma because they just cannot work until social distancing is lifted. So I am blessed to be working, frustrated that we can’t just get on with it and saddened for my colleagues who still cannot work.