Looking for an innovative solution to meet her clients' needs during COVID-19 restrictions, Metta Sweet is closing her office for good. She says she isn’t quitting and hitting the road.
"I want to meet people where they are," she said. "And I mean literally meet them where they are."
FOX 5's Doug Evans sat down with Sweet in what is her new office, after she announced that she's permanently closing her brick-and-mortar one with the comfy patient sofa.
This licensed practitioner now owns a twelve-passenger Ford van and intends on conducting her therapy sessions on the road, in parks, patient driveways, or wherever. But most definitely in person rather than online.
Metta Sweet discussing her mobile office with FOX 5’s Doug Evans
Armchairs, wicker baskets, and throw rugs have replaced the rows of passenger seats. From her upholstered chair with a gorgeous view of Decatur's Mason Mill Park in the large tinted window behind her, she mused on the drawbacks of what she conceded were the necessary COVID-19 restrictions that she said have also played havoc on mental health.
"So much of what contributes to so many disorders or distresses is isolation. Isolation is bad for depression, anxiety, addiction."
Sweet met with client Heidi Harris at the park.
"Metta Sweet is my therapist," Harris told FOX 5. "She is a beautiful, amazing soul who has changed my life dramatically and I know that she has done that for others, too."
Harris has been Sweet’s client for more than a year, all of which was online. They now have their in-person sessions while socially distancing in the van, where they talk and even meditate to the vehicle's sound system.
Harris says therapy over Zoom was fine "but just that personal connection, being there and being able to feel it with someone, especially if you are processing something that is important or emotional or difficult, it can be really beneficial to be in the same space as someone."
If not in the van, Sweet says many of her patients enjoy walking and talking in the park, benefiting from nature and sunshine.
Harris and Sweet walk around Decatur’s Mason Mill Park
Sweet says she will still offer online therapy for those who would prefer it. She can park and do that too from the van. But no more offices for her or her clients.
"So, I Iove the independence of that and the metaphor of the road and I’ve named the car the 'Sweet Journey.' This is part of my journey and where I am going to take my clients and invite them to go on their journey in this kind of way."
For more information about Metta Sweet's practice, click here, to visit her website.
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