Limited In-person appointments are now available now
Looking for a Teletherapy Session instead?
The Barrington Center is slowly and cautiously re-opening its offices with limited capacity and options. In this age of uncertainty and understanding the various needs and anxieties of clients, staff and therapists, we are opening our offices with options and certain protocols in place.
Please understand that any in-office visits will need to be at the discretion of your individual therapist and in collaboration with you and your family as to your needs and the needs of the therapist at this time. We will continue to offer the platform of telephone and video sessions for clients and therapists who prefer not to venture into shared spaces yet.
We don't want anyone to be without help!
Please call your clinician to schedule an appointment. The Barrington Center and our clinicians want to provide the best care and safety for both you and the clinicians through this time of social distancing and disinfecting.
We will preferably offer outside therapy sessions on our deck(s) and canopied tent in areas adjacent to our offices (weather-permitting and recognizing confidentiality may be more limited in this type of setting). If your therapist is agreeable, we will also offer some one-on-one play therapy for children and/or adolescent clients during the summer and fall, and again, weather-permitting.
Guidelines for In Person Appointments
The Barrington Center is closely following the guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), our Illinois state and local government as we move into Phase 4 of their requirements and the guidelines suggested by the APA and NASW mental health associations. As a health and human service agency, we are able to serve some clients in person throughout this pandemic, taking into account the health and safety of everyone involved.
Therefore, we are taking the following steps.
Prior to an in-person session, clients will sign a Covid consent form, take their temperature to ensure they have no fever and self-disclose if they are ill, or have knowingly been exposed to someone who is ill, or have traveled to or from a high-risk state recently. In these situations, a phone or video session may be scheduled in-lieu of an in-person session.
Therapists and office staff will not go to the office if they have a fever or symptoms of illness or have knowingly been exposed to someone who is ill. Again, a phone or video session will be scheduled in-lieu of an in-person session.
FACE MASKS and/or FACE SHIELDS will be worn by staff, therapists and clients during in-person sessions. Face masks will be provided for clients who don’t have access to one.
Waiting for your In Person Appointment
Clients are required to wait in their cars or outside the office until it is time for their session as our waiting rooms will not be open for seating. Masks and your consent form will be required before entering our offices with your therapist.
Precautions for Safety
Disinfectant wipes are available in each office for use before, during and after each client session.
Hand Sanitizer is available in common areas and offices for use by clients and staff. Clients and staff are encouraged to wash their hands before and after each session.
A client bathroom is available but light switches/fan switches will be left on and covered with paper—the bathroom door should be left open after use and paper towels after hand-washing will be available as you leave the bathroom.
Magazines and other materials that might be contaminated will be removed from the waiting room tables.
No handshakes, hugging or any personal touch will be exchanged between staff and clients.
We do regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, desks, light switches and play equipment.
For outside sessions, it will be at the discretion of your therapist as to whether masks are required.
Credit cards and payment will be completed over the phone.
Tips on Managing Anxiety & Depression
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has issued a list of tips to help curb heightened feelings of anxiety and fear during these uncertain times, put together by Aarti Gupta, who sits on the association’s public education committee. The Barrington Center has also included some of our own tips/suggestions for you.
Observe the social distancing rules and self-quarantine home protocols to protect not only yourself but family and others in your community. Wash our hands frequently and sanitize all surfaces as often as possible.
Keep a routine
Maintaining some semblance of structure will keep you active and less likely to “spiral” says Gupta. As you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which can lead to “negative thinking”. “Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Do laundry on Sunday or Mondays as usual.
CREATE A CALM HOME
Keeping your home organized, predictable and clean can create a sense of stability amid the uncertainty happening outside. A cluttered home can make us anxious or claustrophobic.
Create a zone for work, a zone for dinner and a zone for rest and a play zone for children. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa.
CREATE A NEW OR INTERESTING QUARANTINE RITUAL
Maybe you now have time to start a daily feelings journal, spend time with your children home-schooling them or doing a cooking or art project with them or family game. Having something special and different to look forward to each day will help with the isolation of “sheltering in place”.
We can still avoid isolation when sheltering in place by calling our friends, facetiming or skyping our family and friends and connecting in loving, kind and empathic ways that we often do not have time for in our normal daily routine. We are all in this together and the more we can abide by the “social distancing” the sooner we can resume our normal routine.
REFRAME YOUR THINKING
Reframe “I am stuck inside” to “I can finally focus on my home, my interactions with family and/or connecting with friends”. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude says Gupta. This is a change to slow down and practice “mindfulness meditation” (being in the moment) rather than focusing on feeling trapped.
TRY DEEP BREATHING AND MEDITATION
You can tune in to YouTube channel for videos on deep breathing or meditation or yoga. You can also load apps such as MindShift.com or Insighttimer.com to help you stay calm.
PARENTS AND CHILDREN
If you have children, remember you are a mirror and mentor to them. If you are anxious, it can be contagious. Work at being a “non-anxious presence,” by maintaining an inner calm and helping them make lemonade out of lemons. Working on leading with humor, gratitude and joy can help your children become more flexible and adaptive and see that we are all in this together.
KEEP UP TO DATE ON THE NEWS, BUT TAKE A MENTAL BREAK FROM IT TOO
Limiting news to 30 minutes per day can still keep you updated. Instead watch movies on Amazon Prime or Netflix.
Talk to a mental health professional using telehealth if your anxiety or depression becomes unmanageable.
Finally, remember to be kind and empathic to those around you. Take what you need but leave some for others!