I’ve been contacted by a small amount of clients and several supervisees with regard to how to continue working effectively and safely as a therapist/psychologist during the next couple of weeks.
Bearing in mind the range of anxieties that are out there and the facts we have thus far, I want to put this out there, even though I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it:
COVID is transmitted through touching infected sneeze or cough droplets then touching your face, prolonged exposure to an infected person, or touching surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on.
The best way to prevent exposure is to wash your hands properly, avoid infected people and avoid large groups. Next is to self-isolate if you believe you are infected.
And so, in alignment with the IAHIP, PSI and HSE I am confidently continuing to see clients on an individual basis. I have access to a private bathroom in BOTH practices. Each bathroom has soap and I have several sanitisers. I sanitise all hard surfaces including door handles before and after each client as well as attending to my own personal hygiene. There are no children in my house and no other people use my Youghal office entrance – or indeed my side of the building – it is entirely private. And to get super pedantic, there are more than 2 meters separating my face from yours, again, as per guidelines for infected persons (Of course, I am not infected and I would ask that if you are, that you stay at home).
The only “real” difference in my practice will be that I won’t be shaking anyone’s hand before or after sessions until this has run its course.
Also, in accordance with all professional bodies and EAP providers I am offering all clients regardless of health status Facetime, Skype, telephone or Zoom sessions – online payment will be facilitated. And of course my 24 hour cancellation policy will be waived if you have a sudden onset of symptoms.
Zoom is probably best. It’s free and easy to use: I would email you a unique password for your session and off we go!
If you are a current and existing client of mine I will be mailing this to you for your records.
Meanwhile , please, be aware that the media is catastrophising and there are sensible measures we can all take to protect ourselves and the vulnerable among us. I posted this on Facebook yesterday from our PSI president – it’s worth a read:
*I will update this page if there are any changes to my status