Johnson County counselor works from home, uses Zoom to limit social gatherings

Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 17:00:05-04

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — This is not a typical start to the workweek for Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Crystal Jenkins, in Johnson County, Kansas. Instead of going to the office; Jenkins is working from home.

"My practice changed over the last 24 hours. [My clients are] going to be on Zoom," Jenkins said. "This is an easy step for me because we have to be socially responsible."

Jenkins owns her practice, Sunlight Connection. She's been a LCPC for more than 20 years. She was counseling at a retreat last week in northern California and boarded a flight over the weekend at LAX to return home to Johnson County.

"I feel great. I'm asymptomatic; but I just got off a plane from northern California," she said.

Jenkins said while she doesn't think she was exposed to the virus, she's taking steps to protect herself and her clients.

"If [my clients] can see me and we can talk, we're fine." Jenkins said.

Typically only 10% of her clients use the Zoom meeting app to connect with Jenkins. Now, she's moving to 100% counseling on the Zoom meeting app.

Most of her clients are embracing the change. On this first day of total Zoom meetings, five of her six clients agreed to Zoom counseling sessions instead of in-person meetings.

Jenkins said she is also embracing the new normal.

"I'll probably work harder from home; but this is actually awesome. I get to be here with the dogs under my feet and the fireplace is on," she said.

But the seriousness of the day is not lost. The Trump administration on Monday afternoon reduced its social gathering recommendations to 10 or fewer people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"I am visiting with my clients on Zoom and it will stay this way until the ban comes off," Jenkins concludedsaid.

Jenkins said she is also planning to organize a wellness call for people struggling with their new normal in light of the coronavirus.