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  • Writer's picturePatricia Sleebos

Social Distancing is Necessary ~ Emotional Distancing is not Warranted

As a Pastoral Counselor and Life Coach I want to encourage those reading this blog to focus on this truth: Social distancing is necessary, but emotional distancing is not warranted.

Communication of what you might be experiencing emotionally is important to share. For a long time, I struggled with hiding in the shadows of shame and with a loss of dignity from my past. Avoidance from reaching out kept me from the knowledge that would promote healing. My journey toward healing came through an integration of theology and psychology. My Christian education allowed me to experience the message of compassion that Jesus shows in Scripture; particularly, when he strikes up a conversation with an anonymous woman, who is coming to the well at the wrong hour of the day with her one hope. He speaks to her in such a way that encourages a response from a woman taught by her culture to be silent and secluded. “Learned helplessness” is also a by-product of low self-esteem caused by oppression. His welcoming presence gave her an opportunity to speak freely with him. My integration of grounded theology and clinical knowledge has empowered me to overcome the overwhelming and to assist individuals, as a professional in the field, to process their experiences.

The struggle that suffering causes within, and the work to be done, could be the very thing that leads to liberation, if there is an opportunity to be in the presence of a skilled, compassionate listener. Don't isolate yourself because of your struggle. These are difficult and unprecedented times we are currently living in with the additional pressure of Covid-19 and the necessity of social distancing.

This can certainly heighten the struggle to maintain a positive outlook, so utilize outlets for maintaining social and emotional support through media, phone calls, text messages and small group (10 or less) face to face gatherings of family and friends. Also, my counseling office is offering client video sessions through my HIPPA compliant portal. (

The struggle is real, but don't emotionally distance yourself if you are struggling, you have options to communicate and share your experiences.

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