Curbside therapy: Some professionals travel to clients during pandemic

Some therapists are traveling to patients during the pandemic

Houston – It is a curbside service in the world of family therapy. Welcome to the new model of counseling that brings much-needed support directly to the client.

Elizabeth Pennington is a licensed professional counselor and owner of Happy Camper Therapy, which specializes in play therapy -- an increasingly popular form of counseling for children. The idea of a mobile service for Pennington was borne out of the need to get service to families in the midst of COVID.

“Having an idea where we would be able to limit exposure and bring therapy to them in a safe environment was the first initial idea,” Pennington said.

Pennington outfitted her work van in February and said she’s actually seen a positive therapeutic effect for kids she hadn’t anticipated. Clients say they’re responding positively as well.

“The idea of driving across town once a week for another appointment was overwhelming,” said parent and client Brooke Traweek.

Traweek describes her family as a “high medical need family” at high risk for COVID. COVID protocols such as a UV light for disinfecting have eased many of her concerns.

“Knowing that we aren’t going into a waiting room or waiting in an elevator with other people and all the different things, it just takes stress off my shoulders as a mom,” she said

Traweek said privacy in a less clinical setting also has made a difference.

“My children would not be as open to this situation as they currently are,” said Traweek. “As it is, she pulls up to the curb in front of our house. They’re excited to run out the the door, down the sidewalk.”

Pennington said she currently services primarily the west and northwest sections of the Houston area but is looking to expand, hire new counselors, and explore franchise opportunities. For more information on her services access their website.

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