Meet a woman who used her time in quarantine to realize her skills could be better utilized in a different aspect of her profession as a counselor. Now, she says she is better able to help those who need it, many of whom are dealing with the trauma from the pandemic.
Natalie Bunner has been a social worker for the past 10 years.
"My last job before COVID was in the school system. I was doing school social work in the charter school system," Bunner says. "In the job I had before, there was lots of bureaucracy that you of course had to deal with as you did the work of social work."
She says when the pandemic hit, she knew more children were going to be in need of more extensive services that she wasn't able to provide at the time.
"I only had to look in my own house to see the impact of COVID. Seeing the stress that happened over time as kids didn't go back to school and schedule changes and new stress had me contemplating what life looked like in other environments that may not be as consistent," explains Bunner. "Within a week of completing all of the necessary testing, I filed paperwork to start a private practice."
Natalie says her decision to open Thrive Therapy, where she can provide direct care and see cases from start to finish, was right on time.
"In children, I am seeing heightened anxiety, more chronic depressive episodes, and they are struggling with social anxiety."
In her adult patients, Natalie says COVID has seemed to hit women harder, because women in some cases were forced to make the best decision for the family before making the best decision for themselves.
The new business owner reminds women to show themselves some grace.
"Sometimes you can't carry it all, and that's okay," she says. "Show yourself some compassion and gentleness. It's okay to not be okay right now."
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