Firm hires extra counsellors to cope with spike in Covid anxiety

Lets Talks new writer and counsellor Amanda Goss. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Amanda Goss, whose counselling firm has had to take on extra staff to cope with increasing numbers of people suffering anxiety because of Covid - Credit: Matthew Usher

A Norfolk counselling practice has had to double its staff to cope with the number of people suffering anxiety because of Covid.

Amanda Goss has taken on three extra therapists to work alongside the three who were working for her Harley Street Psychotherapy before the pandemic.

She said her firm was seeing between 40 and 50 people a week, with most coming from the West Norfolk area.

"This is the busiest we've ever been," said Ms Goss, who set up the business 11 years ago. "The first lockdown was a bit of a novelty. This one has really hit people hard. They've lost jobs, lost businesses, got no money and been stuck at home where they can't see their families. If they've already got anxiety, it's gone through the roof."

Ms Goss said she had also seen a steep increase in the number of children and young people needing help.

"It's the pandemic, it's a direct result of that," she said. "University students have had to come home, they're working online. They're missing the university experience, they're worrying about the future, they're worrying if they're going to be able to complete their course.

Amanda Goss (right) uses head phones so she can counsel her clients and socially distance Picture:

Amanda Goss (right) uses head phones so she can counsel her clients and socially distance during "walking therapy" - Credit: Chris Bishop

"We've had quite a few people in their second or third year with anxiety, worried about getting their work done, missing their friends."

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Ms Goss said she had also seen an increase in anxiety in older people, particularly married couples seeking help.

"If there were problems in the marriage already being thrown together 24/7 can have a huge impact and make things even more difficult," she said.

Harley Street is not currently seeing people at its offices in King's Lynn. Instead £45 - £60 private counselling sessions are being delivered online, or via "walking therapy", where the client meets their counsellor and goes for a walk on a beach or other location, using headsets to speak privately to their therapist.

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