• Sheila Wood

COVID-19: The importance of personal response

Coronavirus is on everyone's mind just now, each of us must put aside some time to think about our personal response.

Food for thought: Freedom of choice

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Dr Viktor Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning, 1946)

For Frankl, meaning is found in:

  • Purposeful work

  • Love

  • Courage in the face of difficulty

The situation is changing rapidly; we must all be prepared to adjust our thoughts and actions on a day to day basis. In this Dialogue I want to share my personal response at this time.

Commitment to social distancing and increased voluntary isolation

Because I’m aware of the part I play and because I care for both my patients and my family, I have elected to adopt near-complete voluntary isolation to ensure that I remain fit and able to support my patients.

Photos: 1. Sasha, 2. Jasmine and 3. Sheila

The three of us! I’m in isolation from the public, yet I’m not alone! My son and I are also in near-constant contact by phone, text and email – we are lucky to live in a time where we have so many options to stay connected.

Moving 100% of the practice to online therapy

While I have been offering online therapy for many years, these times have led me to make the decision to move all therapy online for the foreseeable future. The migration of my face to face appointments to Zoom is now complete without any major disruption.

Providing 1:1 support to people who need it: InnerSpace Mental Health Care Plan

I would like to thank my wonderful patients who are continuing to meet the standard or agreed fee for therapy even during financially stressful situations. Your ongoing commitment enables me to extend the following offer of support to the community.

I feel the economic and mental health fallout from COVID-19 will match or exceed the direct impacts of the virus. I believe we all have something we can offer in support of those affected.

To do my part to support anyone with financial and psychic distress, for the duration of COVID-19 I will be offering:


1. Therapy on a "Pay what you can afford" basis

Are you finding life tough right now? Are you in financial difficulty? Can you commit to ongoing therapy on an agreed schedule? It's easy to get started. To apply, complete the contact form at the bottom of this page and I will take care of the rest with you.


2. Virtual participation in Community Dialogue

This is an open platform for anyone in search of a community willing to speak about COVID-19 in a positive and supportive environment. Learn more

There is no fee and no ongoing commitment to attend. Registration is only required once to get you set up to join all subsequent Community Dialogue meetings via Zoom. To register, simply complete the contact form at the bottom if this page.

  • When - Fortnightly from Saturday 11 April 2020

  • Time - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

  • Mediated by - Sheila Wood


Where to start if you're not sure where to start: A personal response to COVID-19

  • Keep a cool head

  • Stay up to date with the guidelines from the Australian Government

  • Be sensible, follow instructions and take simple precautions to limit unnecessary exposure

  • Stay involved in the activities you love, within the guidelines of common sense

  • Draw ever closer to your loved ones (even if physical contact is not possible)

  • Make good use of support mechanisms available to you

  • Find ways to help others

  • Don’t feed the panic!

  • Stay away from media hype

  • Don’t engage with negative conversation

  • Look for the positive and spread that around, instead of the virus

  • Smile!

This is what each of us can do to counteract the panic that threatens the ability of our health system and supply chains to maintain adequate service to the population. It is the key that can help us as a Nation to shift into another, sustainable gear for the long haul.

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone who may benefit or would like to contribute to Community Dialogue. At the bottom of each blog post page there are direct links for you to share through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as well a link to share through other channels.

I would love to hear about how the frame of a personal response may be of help to you. As always, The Dialogue is here for you to share your thoughts, feelings, confusions and ideas.

Warm regards,


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