Andrew Ryan, M.Ed., LPCC-S
Outpatient Therapist, Howland PsyCare
How did you get your start with PsyCare?
I have worked at PsyCare since September of 2019. I’ve been a licensed counselor since 2015 and worked at another agency for approx. 4 and a half years before joining PsyCare. My wife is also a therapist and initially brought up the possibility of being a counselor after working with her during volunteer experiences. My passion for helping people has always been a large part of me, but I needed a way to channel it effectively, and counseling was the way to do that.
Tell us about the challenge of working from home.
Truthfully, I’ve enjoyed working from home. I have not seen challenges from a personal standpoint. In fact, telehealth services have expanded my ability to reach those in need. I have talked to patients on their lunch breaks, after work, when they were not feeling well, etc. I have also been able to more efficiently treat those who may lack the ability to come to the office on a regular basis due to their mental health symptoms, medical/physical restrictions, or work/family obligations.
How has life changed for you (personally and/or professionally) since the Covid-19 threat?
Professionally, I’m obviously working from home, which a significant change. But it’s been one that I feel I’ve made the most of, and been able to expand my ability to help others through the convenience of telehealth. I’ve also been able to spend more time with my three daughters, who are attending school from home, and help my wife, who is also working from home.
My personal life has changed quite a bit since the COVID-19 outbreak. I have asthma and a history of being susceptible to multiple breathing issues due to infections and viruses. I’ve had to reorganize and reframe my priorities. That is, simple things are no longer simple, i.e., going to a store, working, visiting a new restaurant, time with family, taking my daughters to the park, and going on vacation to name a few. Life does not always provide you with your intentions, and we’re left doing the best we can with what we have to work with.
What message or suggestion do you want to give people during this stressful time?
Stress, anxiety, and fear naturally follow when being faced with the unknown and feelings of not being in control. During this stressful time, we have an overabundance of the unknown and not being in control. It is vitally important to remember what you do have control over and take care of those aspects of life and self to the best of your ability. Once knowing what can be controlled is in order, at least some relief from stress and worry is possible. Remind yourself that you are doing what you can. It is not a cure, but can help to manage this tough situation.
It’s very easy to hyper-focus on what we feel we lack, which can become overwhelming each moment we don’t have what we seek. Instead, replace those spaces of lack and worry with gratitude for everything positive — small and large — you have in life. Envision and move toward the healthiest version of yourself and the world you wish to see and experience… step by step, inch by inch… make progress. It doesn’t matter if progress is slow, it matters if it’s permanent.
Take care of yourselves, take care of each other, and be kind and patient.