Italy has been the first country in Europe to be affected by Covid 19. Starting from the region around Milano and the northern part of Italy the pandemia reached then the central and south regions of the country with a minor impact. The lockdown started in march (Phase 1), to contain the emergency overwelming Hospitals,-not ready to face the Pandemia. A slow opening (Phase 2) is announced for the middle of may,
We find ourselves in a situation in which it is difficult to distinguish between fact and emotion, between what belongs to the personal realm and to the collective, and between local and global. Exaggeration, contradictory information, and the tones of politics can all often confuse us, making it difficult to find explanations and to “give meaning” and direction to what is happening inside of us and to our social fabric.
The need for points of reference, “secure bases,” and to “restore order” amidst the chaos has led our institutions to set down rules (involving health indications, behavioral parameters, and timelines), asking citizens for “necessary obedience” that entails making changes to our habits and lifestyles in the hope of regaining control of the situation.
From the first decrees announcing the emergency, efforts have been made to foster—among individuals and as part of our social fabric—behaviors that can help us face the danger before us, create a feasible everyday life, and promote processes of resilience. This ranges from protecting health, continuing personal and professional relationships virtually, and managing confinement at home to new social rituals (e.g., flash mobs on balconies, neighbors sharing groceries) and many services offered free of charge by old and new solidarity networks. This also includes support and solidarity toward doctors and health professionals who are on the front line.
Our present is in the making, and we will almost certainly see this “suspended time” be prolonged. The uncertainty about Virus and future possibilities, is our present, while we are facing “Second phase” (when and how to exit from the severe lockdown we lived, to allow the economy and the “real life” to march on again), with the hope and desire to start “something new”.
How will we cope with the uncertainty and temporary nature of this experience while confronting the mourning, pain, and loss that we are experiencing? What tools can we use to consolidate our networks and strategies? As transactional analysts, and as the Centro Psicologia e AT, we are promoting relationships and initiatives that can aid us in responding to these queries. We also want to stay open and to devote energies for responding to the new needs will arise in persons, groups and in the community.
We know that every CPAT member has been engaged in helping, in his/her professional role, working in-person (when this was needed as into the front-line hospitals) or working with on-line councelling. TA training groups also have been reorganized in on-line meeting.
CPAT and Terrenuove in Milan are offering variuos free online counseling services for:
1) professionals in the health, psychological, educational, and welfare fields, involved professionally in Covid 19 difficullties (hashtags #parolechecurano)
2) people needing help (mainly for anxiety or depression linked to prolongued quarantine, for the illness or for the loss of relatives) firstname.lastname@example.org
3) parents and children for supporting resilience in this lockdown time (#immaginichecurano and U-Tube centropsi-terrenuove)
Susanna Ligabue (psychoterapist, TSTA-P), CPAT President
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