Your safety and wellbeing is our primary concern. We remain committed to keeping both our staff and clients safe, while continuing to provide you with the same supportive, high-quality and confidential individual, couple and group counseling you've come to expect from Austin Mindfulness Center. We're listening to the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and will continue to monitor COVID-19 as it develops. And, we invite you to consider your own comfort level with in-person therapy during this uncertain time. In-person therapy Our office will remain open and available if you desire in-person sessions with your therapist. However, we urge you to consider safer options from the comfort of your own home. We outline two options below for sessions by telephone, or online sessions via smartphone, tablet or computer.
Considerations for in-person therapy sessions: People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene and maintaining social distancing:
Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth or those of others.
Maintain at least 3 feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Consider if you feel comfortable with face-to-face contact with your therapist, or if doing your session virtually by phone, tablet or computer might be a better fit right now.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain a virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease
Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and a slight runny nose, until you recover.
Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical or health facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
Have you traveled recently? Or, have you been in contact with a loved one who has traveled recently? Call/email in advance and tell your therapist of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
Why? Calling in advance will allow your therapist to advise if doing your session virtually by phone, tablet or computer might be a better fit right now. This will also help to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition.
Your options for taking care of yourself and maintaining social distancing: As a client at the Austin Mindfulness Center, you have the ability to receive therapy without leaving the comfort of your home. We offer two virtual options that maintain your existing therapeutic support during this uncertain time, while protecting you, your loved ones and our staff. Therapy by phone: Please let your therapist know if you'd like to do your session by phone with at least 24 hours advanced notice of your scheduled session time and date. How do I join a phone therapy session?
You will receive an email invite to the scheduled phone session.
Look for an email with "RingCentral" in the subject line.
Within the RingCentral email you'll see two options:
Option 1: an "iPhone one-tap" section that includes a clickable phone number with the meeting ID included.
Select this phone number link to connect with your therapist at the time of the session (if you're using an iPhone).
This phone number link will connect you to the RingCentral Meeting app for your session with your therapist.
Option 2: "Telephone" section that includes a clickable phone number.
Select this phone number link to connect with your therapist at the time of the session (if you're using a smartphone). Otherwise, dial the number into your phone manually.
This phone number link will open the RingCentral Meeting app that you've previously downloaded.
You'll be prompted to enter the 10-digit Meeting ID at the bottom of the email once connected to join the call.
Online therapy sessions: Please let your therapist know if you'd like to do your session online with at least 24 hours advanced notice of your scheduled session time and date. Connect to your online therapy session using any device such as your phone, tablet or laptop. How do I join an online therapy session?
If this is your first time using our online therapy option, you'll need to download and install the RingCentral Meetings app to your computer or smartphone in order to join an online therapy session. Please follow our step-by-step instructions for downloading the RingCentral Meetings app.
You will receive an email invite to the scheduled virtual session.
Look for an email with "RingCentral" in the subject line.
Within the RingCentral email, you'll see a "join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android" section that includes a clickable link.
Select this link to connect with your therapist at the time of the session (if you're using a smartphone).
This link will open the RingCentral Meeting app that you've previously downloaded.
If you haven't downloaded the RingCentral Meetings app, see Step 1 above.
You'll be prompted to enter the 10-digit Meeting ID into the RingCentral Meeting app. You can find the Meeting ID at the bottom of the email.
Additional considerations for your mental, psychological and social wellbeing. COVID-19 has and is likely to affect people from many countries, in many geographical locations. People who are affected by Covid-19 have not done anything wrong, and they deserve support, compassion and kindness. Managing your mental health and psychosocial wellbeing during this time is as important as managing your physical health. Steps we can all take right now to minimize anxiety and fear:
Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried.
Get the facts; not the rumors and misinformation. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fears.
Take good care of yourself. Try and use helpful coping strategies such as ensuring sufficient rest and respite during work or between shifts, eat sufficient and healthy food, engage in physical activity, and stay in virtual contact with family and friends. Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies such as tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. In the long term, these can worsen your mental and physical wellbeing.
Use mindfulness as a stress-reduction and management tool. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for maintaining awareness of your fear and practicing present-moment awareness to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. For more ways you can practice mindfulness, or to get guided mindfulness support, please see your Austin Mindfulness Center therapist or get started with one of our therapists here.
Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Check-in by phone on neighbors or people in your community who may need some extra assistance.