Coexisting, coping, and cooperating through coronavirus crisis

Author gives tips to avoid losing it during lockdowns
Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 2:50 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The coronavirus measures, including social distancing and stay-at-home orders, create a roller coaster of emotions for people, according to Bill Eddy, co-founder of the High Conflict Institute in San Diego, California.

Eddy explains that while we’re distracted from our troubles for a while, a wave later hits us that we’re in crisis, creating stress in the home.

“When we’re around each other, the people who are kind of doing a little better at the moment can help each other out,” the lawyer, author, and therapist said.

Many families are together most of the time under one roof, no work or school to provide space, no outside people with whom to interact, no restaurants to provide new stimulus, no breaks from each other.

Vic Gideon, calming each other, with time apart

When we’re struggling to calm ourselves and each other, Eddy suggests giving people encouraging statements, such as, “'I can get through this.' ‘I’ve been through times like this before.’ ‘We can count on each other even though we get upset sometimes.’”

Eddy also suggested taking breaks by ourselves and giving others choices, which makes them feel more in control. “It helps people focus and it helps people stay calm, looking at their choices.”

He also encourages using three familiar strategies to keep everyone calm, something he calls EAR: Empathy, Attention, Respect.

Eddy practiced family law and is a licensed clinical social worker, the author or co-author of sixteen books, many about high conflict personalities.

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