Happy New Year!  I imagine that most of you, like me,  are ready to move on from 2020 and hope that 2021 brings positivity and joy.  This week has been difficult for our country.  Many people are saddened by the violence seen a couple of days ago.  During times like these, we need to lean into what makes us resilient.  Increasing resilience often comes from caring for our overall wellness.  That is making time to care for our mind and body, prioritizing our relationships, learning from the past and embracing change, and creating new goals.

I hope  to support my clients over this year by empowering change and increasing resilience.  With that some changes are coming to the practice, which I want to tell you about.

New Name

Dr. Spiegelhoff and Associates.  Over the last couple of years, my intention has been to continue to expand offerings to clients and to grow the practice.  Soon, a new website will be launched, featuring practice offerings, resources, this newsletter/blog, and updates.

Regarding the “associates,” I hope to bring on some part-time associates later this spring/summer and discussions have already begun with a colleague.  My goals is to offer more in-person hours (permitting COVID safety and regulations) and expand telehealth.  When new associated begin, all of my existing clients will remain my clients.

Also, please note that my hours will be change beginning February 1, 2021.  This spring semester, I will be teaching my graduate courses on Tuesday and Thursday, which means evening hours at my office will be moved to Monday and Wednesday.  Afternoon hours Monday – Thursday will remain the same, as well as sessions on Fridays.

New Health

Over this last year, COVID has created a great deal of anxiety for most of us.  With the promise of the new vaccines, there is hope but also concerns about the efficacy and safety.  I’ve had numerous conversations with individuals who asked me about my beliefs about the vaccines.  So, I would like to share with everyone my thought.  Please keep in mind that I am aware that choosing to vaccinate or not is a personal choice.  If you choose to receive a vaccine and have any concerns about your health, consult with your physician first.

Yesterday, I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine as part of NY’s Phase 1A (healthcare workers).  I am incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to receive the vaccine and I am thankful to all of the scientists and medical professionals who were involved in the development.

I made the decision to receive the vaccination after exercising due diligence.  With any healthcare decision, it is in my nature to read about all of the options and treatments.  Perhaps this is engrained in me having been trained as a researcher in my Ph.D. program.   That said, I spent significant time reading the research and reports about both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  I listened to what the most experienced medical professionals had to say about the vaccines.  I also read research on how side-effects presented in past vaccines, the potential of side-effects.  

I am confident in the efficacy of the vaccine and minimal risk for side-effects as reported through the medical research trials by Pfizer and Moderna.  As a counselor, working in-person with clients, it is not only important to ensure the safety of myself and my family, but an ethical obligation to ensure the safety of my clients.  Around mid-February, I will be able to say that my risk of contracting COVID-19 (the current mutations of the virus) will be less than 5%.  

As far as my experience with the vaccine, other than minor pain at the injection site, I had no side-effects from the vaccine.  In fact, I barely felt the injection.  If you are wondering about the process, it is much like the process of receiving allergy shots (which I receive once a month).  After the vaccination, you will sit for 15 minutes in case if you were to have a severe side effects and experience asphyxiation. Once the 15 minutes, pass you are free to leave.

As the availability of the vaccine continues to increase, we will begin to see the end of this pandemic.  Hope is on the horizon.