2020 was an extremely weird year, and 2021 has had some odd moments itself so far. And yet, good things have been in the works as well, including my return to in-person sessions! I greatly appreciate each and every one of you that has continued with me on this journey, and those of you that joined during some of the weirder parts of the past year. This update will be a bit of a long read, and I apologize in advance for that, so TL;DR is, I’m returning to the office one to two days a week starting in June at a new location in Leander, and there are new rules in place.
Out of Office Days
Just to get this out of the way, dates to be aware of that I will be out of office include: Monday, May 31st, so that I can have time to transition back to in-person sessions that Wednesday (yes, really, so soon); June 18th and 21st; August 9th to 17th; and August 26th to September 2nd. I will have limited availability during the August dates, so please reach out to me via email, Client Portal messages, or text during those time frames if you would like to have a virtual session, and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.
I will continue to have office hours/sessions Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and most Wednesdays virtually. That means I will have phone and video sessions only those days, and will make it my fight (with insurance) to keep having these sessions until forever, if at all possible. I have found virtual sessions to be useful, even if a little frustrating at times, and don’t want them to go away any time soon.
With everything going on in the past year, the decision was made to move to a new space in Leander. While no longer directly on 183, the office is a short drive from the previous office on Hero Way. The new address is 11894 Hero Way West, Suite C, Leander, TX 78641; more information can be found on the Leander Counseling website here (http://www.leanderca.com/office-location–photos.html). One of the perks is an outdoor area that on nicer days, can be used as clients desire for sessions.
In-person sessions will be limited to one or two days a week, as I am still in a shared space, but it is a larger, nicer space than the previous office. And because it is a shared space, we will discuss during the first session what is available for use and what is not, as myself and the other counselors are doing our best to respect each other’s space and property, including art supplies, games, et cetera. I will have items available for use during sessions, so please don’t think there will be a deprivation of fun or calming tools. Snacks and water bottles will be available upon request instead of readily available as before, to decrease the number of touch points in the office.
Because of the limited days in the office, I will be prioritizing in-person sessions on the days I will be in the office; this will mean some schedule changes will be happening, and I will work with each person individually to find the best fit for them. Those in-person/in-office dates currently are: June 2nd, 7th, 14th, 16th, 28th, and 30th; in July, the 5th, 7th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and 28th; and for August, the 2nd and 23rd. I will be in the office predominantly on Mondays, with a scattering of Wednesdays, until other days become available. Feel free to reach out to me to ask about updates on in-office services at any point.
Masks will be required for everyone. Masks will be made available for anyone who doesn’t have one, as are gloves, and hand sanitizer, for use during session. I will be wearing a mask during sessions, despite being vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, we can discuss what that might look like for future sessions after our initial meeting.
Please prescreen yourself (or child) prior to the session for symptoms of COVID. According to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html), symptoms to look for include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you or anyone in your household is experiencing any of these symptoms 24-48 hours prior to a scheduled in-person session, I ask that you request your session to be changed to a virtual session; I don’t need to know the reason, just that you would like to switch to a virtual session instead.
One drawback in the new office for some is the lack of a waiting room at this time; that means that the office space will be just me and the client (sorry, parents!). There is potential for a waiting room later this fall, and I will keep everybody updated on that as I learn more. At present, there is an outdoor space that some use for sessions that might be used as a waiting area, if you choose to do so. This does mean that for the privacy of all clients, I request that you do not show up more than 5 minutes prior to your session; please text me at 512-216-3283 when you have arrived, so that I can unlock the door to allow you/your child into the building when it is time for session.
And to reiterate, I will continue to have virtual sessions (video and phone) available for the other days of the week, and for any clients that are not quite yet ready to go back to being in the office; my plan is to have virtual sessions available for forever to be accommodating and flexible. Video sessions are also available for anyone unable to make it to the office for their in-person visit, as my goal is to make sure everyone is seen at their appointment times.
Everyone will still be able to schedule their appointments via the Client Portal. My office hours will change only slightly on in-person days to accommodate time between clients to clean and sanitize the office before the next client, but you do not have to worry about figuring out the times, as I will adjust on my end after you request the appointment, so that you will get confirmation of the appointment time in advance of the appointment itself. In-office days will have a staggered schedule with 15-30 minutes between each session; that would look like an 11am appointment being followed by a 12:15pm appointment, which would then have a 1:30pm appointment, so on and so forth. This will change some, obviously, for family and sibling groups, as well as days when my appointments do not start at 11am; everyone will have the option of requesting specific appointment times, and I will adjust them in the calendar on my end as needed. If there is a particular time slot you want for each week, please message me (text, email, or Client Portal messaging) to request that time slot for consecutive weeks; I will, as always, do my best to accommodate those requests.
To give myself time to adjust to being back into the office, and because of how much time I will be out at the end of the summer/beginning of the fall, I have made the decision to not accept new clients until the second week of September at the earliest. This may feel inconvenient for many, but I want to focus on my current clients, and give them my best during these transitional periods. And it will give me time to figure out the best way to accommodate everyone’s school schedules when that begins again.
More to Come
For now, those are all the updates for everyone. I will reach out to individuals as needed to discuss other matters. And of course, will keep everyone updated on any other big changes that will be in the works. I understand this feels like changes are happening extremely soon, and I had hoped to give more time to adjust, but situations didn’t work out that way. I do look forward to seeing your faces in-person again soon, and meeting some of you for the first time in person! I am hopeful the summer and fall bring us all other wonderful changes.