Coronavirus (COVID 19): the specialist advice

Swap Family asks about Coronavirus (COVID 19): what does the specialist advice.

Perhaps during those days you ask yourself, how can I manage my family isolation? From Swap Family we ask the specialist.

During these days we have seen how all our activity has been limited by Coronavirus (COVID 19), an invisible virus to our eyes but extremely powerful. From Swap Family we want to know the effect it can have on our society and how we can cope with confinement. To know all this from first hand, we have contacted Laura LLonch, a family psychotherapist.

Hello Laura, tell us about your professional career. What projects are you currently working on? 

Hello and thank you for your interview. 

I’m a psychologist and family psychotherapist. I am living between Rome and Barcelona where I work in a public and private mental health center. Actually I am focusing my work with “expat” families.

How are families experiencing this pandemic and confinement? How is Coronavirus affecting our lives?

It depends about the kind of family. Families who have the resources to face this situation, who are able to organize, are flexible enough to adapt to circumstances, although this requires a change of rules. 

The problem is when family members have no adaptation skills to find a new balance in the crisis.

The problem is when family members have no adaptation skills to find a new balance in the crisis.

What is important to keep in mind during these days? What kind of recommendations do you give to families? 

First of all I think it’s very important to always remember that this situation is temporary.

Other suggestion that I give, especially for families with kids, is to try to follow a timetable that can help them to organize the day. 

A very important recommendation is to not demand us as in other situation and to try to develop some flexibility.

A very important recommendation is to not demand us as in other situation and to try to develop some flexibility.

All the members of the family may respect the way each one face this moment and express his feelings.

It’s important also to not compare us with other families. Each family has his own organization and rules that may not work the same way for others.

The family is the place where we find an emotional security source, where we feel to be accepted and this it works more in the situations like the one we are living. 

The family is the place where we find an emotional security source, where we feel to be accepted and this it works more in the situations like the one we are living.

What kinds of activities do you think are positive during this isolation time due to the Coronavirus?

In these days that all the members of the family are at home I think that, more than ever, it’s important to create a sense of team, to work together. Of course parents must work and they have to follow a timetable… but during the weekend or during daily breaks I think it’s important to try to do things together, things that before they didn’t do like prepare and have lunch-dinner together, organize and clean the house, to do physical exercise together, learn a new language together, program next holidays…

At the same time, it’s important to try to maintain moments that contribute to the autonomy of each member: read a book, listen music, play instrument.

At the same time, it’s important to try to maintain moments that contribute to the autonomy of each member: read a book, listen music, play instrument.

It’s also important to not be isolated. Contact with family and friends could help a lot. For example, do video calls to other families or if we have friends who are living in other countries contact them to know how is the situation in their country. 

Especially for those parents who are teleworking, attending to the pedagogical and emotional needs of their children and are caring of home, what can they do to carry on without dying in the attempt?

First of all, take a breath and as I told before, think that’s a temporary situation.

Breath, it is a temporary situation.

It would help do a timetable, follow a routine and to define well the role of each one.

What types of behaviors should be avoided? 

It’s important to not be rigid and to not try to achieve the same objectives with the same quality of before. 

It’s important to not be rigid and to not try to achieve the same objectives with the same quality of before. 

Try to avoided a sedentary lifestyle and follow all together a  physical exercise routine or dance. 

Also it’s very important to avoid catastrophic thinking, and try to think positive. 

We are surprised to see how people are letting go of all their creativity and ingenuity. How can you explain it? 

Human has a very big capacity to find resources in front of a difficulty.

Human has a very big capacity to find resources in front of a difficulty.

Our society lived completely outwardly, keeping ourselves constantly busy (also our kids), making a lot of activities and this doesn’t help us to develop some of our inner resources. Thanks to the situation we are living, we don’t have any chance rather than to look inside and try to find a kind of resources (that of course we have) but we never let go out. 

How can we take advantage of this situation? How can strengthen us psychologically?

Improve the sense of belonging to the family. This situation will help us to strength our relation with our family and friends, to be more collaborative and as Boris Cyrulnik said, in front of a difficult situation we develop resources that help us to we stronger.

The strengthen sense of belonging to the family can help us in this situation caused by Coronavirus (COVID 19).

The strengthen sense of belonging to the family can help us in this situation caused by Coronavirus (COVID 19).

From Swap Family, how can we contribute in this situation? What can we do against Coronavirus?

I think Swap Family can do a lot of things against the situation caused by the Coronavirus . For example, as I told before, in the situation that we are living, it’s very important to have future goals as a family and one can be to know people from other countries, doing a cultural and language exchange. 

Also with your work you can help to create contact with families from other countries who are living the same situation cause from COVID 19 and share their experience and resources. 

So I think you can help a lot of families to think positive and to think about the future.

So I think you can help a lot of families to think positive and to think about the future.

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