May 13, 2020
We wanted to give you an update on current developments in the psychotherapy field relating to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. While situations and the extend of “lock-down”, travel restrictions, or “social distancing” vary geographically across Europe, these will remain fluid (and subject to change at short notice) and can be expected to continue for the immediate foreseeable future. EAP has received a number of concerns regarding aspects of psychotherapy during the pandemic, ranging for example from advertising concerns to the safety of online group psychotherapy.
In this unprecedented situation, psychotherapists can be reasonably expected to seek a good balance between expanding or adapting their prior clinical practice and exploring how to include new ways of working, such as online psychotherapy for example, in response to clients/patients and students needs for support and continuity. On the other hand, the virus pandemic does not change or invalidate the long established EAP Ethical Principles about advertising in any way. And while it may well be in the best interest to continue an existing psychotherapy group in a virtual online space if the group chooses to do so, the starting of a new group via online media without prior experience may be an ill-advised and perhaps irresponsible initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic. When in doubt, supervision is always a first starting point to explore our concerns or any new challenges we meet. In addition however, we do have the well established format in psychotherapy to seek a “consultation” with a senior colleague who can draw on relevant experience or knowledge to help us explore any concerns or challenges we face. And we may also seek a “second opinion” when questions remain about any recommendations or advice we receive.
The practice of psychotherapy has always been a venture into the unknown, a venture into uncharted waters, whilst making great efforts to facilitate such endeavours safely, ethically and with robust accountability. Keeping our clients, patients, students, supervisees and indeed ourselves safe and well supported must always be a guiding principle in any circumstances.
With good wishes at these challenging times.
See also our first EAP special newsletter on Covid-19