Turkish therapist's tips for surviving self-isolation

Families may feel bored, anxious in these trying times, says therapist

Sun Online Desk

28th March, 2020 06:10:48 printer

Turkish therapist's tips for surviving self-isolation

Living in a closed space day after day has taken a toll on the mental health of many families, who before the coronavirus stay-at-home orders got along very well.

In Turkey, a family therapist is seeing a wave of requests for online sessions from married couples.

“It has been tough for some families to live together in a closed space for long periods due to the coronavirus outbreak. We have been holding online sessions with many families over the last 10 days,” said Ferhan Bicakcilar, who also heads the Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, the Turkish branch of an international group.

Stressing millions of people are staying at home in the larger health interests of their families and communities, he said if the situation prolongs its could affect human psychology.

“In our sessions, we have seen the tolerance level of people decreases, they become sensitive to certain stimuli, resulting in hyperactivity or sleep disturbance in children, and a general feeling of boredom,” he said.

Useful tips

The therapist said acceptance is the key to having a peaceful home.

"We can start by accepting that each family member, including ourselves, may sometimes react in an anxious and impatient way.”

He added: “Do not always expect your spouse and children to be at the same level of sensitivity as you.”

Bicakcilar said good communication is crucial in these times.

"Whatever is happening in the world, keep this negativity away from your house. You should also find ways to deal with your own anxiety and distress. See your family as a support, not a load of worry,” he said.

He added that it was important to give each other space.

“Respect their space, now that we are living in the limited environment of our homes.”