Graham Cracker Crust with Inner Mallow: Musings of a Quarantined Therapist

It is times such as these, where one’s true character is revealed. It is times such as these where the testament of the human spirit shines bright— but who the hell would’ve thought we’d have to survive COVID-19, a formidable opponent; a pandemic of epic proportions: NOT ME (or very many of you for that matter).  However, aside from the doomsday preppers who are sitting pretty with their massive gardens and stockpiles of two-ply toilet paper, the rest of us were all grossly unprepared.

Few things are upsetting to me.  Yes, I am passionate about things that I love, but life experience and my education has given me perspective and the ability to handle them well.  NOPE, not this time. A person very close to my heart once said to me, “Toni, you are like a s’more;  hard on the outside, graham cracker crust, and inner mallow.”
I think that the same can be said for many therapists, and I am confident in speaking for the vast majority, (especially those in private practice);  the graham crackers are broken,  crumbling and the mallow is oozing out the side. We need a bit of support too.

For Current Patients:

Telehealth or phone sessions are not ideal for everyone, but at this time it is a necessary evil. While we don’t want you to struggle or to hurt, we do enjoy seeing you in our office and take great joy in watching you achieve your goals. Aside from following through on your treatment plan, private practices are small businesses.  If you are not seen, we cannot keep our doors open. Many of these cozy, inviting, and accommodating neighborhood practices will falter. This is a very real possibility.  If and when that does happen, your therapists will more than likely disperse to the impersonal and clinical settings they worked so hard to escape. Decreasing the duration of your sessions is understandable, but please permit us to check in with you during this crisis.  Otherwise, it will result in an untimely breakup for both parties.

For Other Therapists:

There comes a time in every therapist’s life when they know they need a good THERAPIST!! Often we make due checking in with one another at the office or during supervisions, but this national crisis has moved beyond that!  If you have ever thought about seeking treatment, now is the time. As we are all experiencing this event together, we cannot push our burdens to our coworkers.  Take responsibility and seek brief treatment;  permit someone to listen to YOU.

For Perspective/ New Patients:

HI!!!  Let’s Talk!!  Yes, this certainly is a bizarre time in history is it not?  It is my understanding that during the COVID-19 crisis all copays are waived until further notice. You didn’t have the time for therapy in the past?  Well, I am guessing that you have too much time on your hands now!! Schedule now!! When COVID-19  ends, your friendly neighborhood LCSW or LPC will be the popular kid at school.
Currently taking many and seeking A referral:  one, LCSW, mildly gifted with the written word;  great listener, funny;  will work for toilet paper, peanut butter, Dunkin Donuts coffee, dog food, cat litter.. and of course, mascara.

CPA-Associates is here to help you

Stay Home and Stay Safe Everyone. If you need help and support, know we are here to do just that. Cristina Panaccione and Associates Counseling has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and in Robinson Township. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients. So check our services pages to learn more about how we can help you have the life you deserve to live.
Toni Contestabile M.Ed, LCSW

* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.

Image Credit – Adobe Stock


When was the last time someone listened to you?  Really listened and provided active feedback.

To get started let our intake coordinator connect you with our therapist who is your best fit for your needs

Cristina Panaccione Contact Form