In line with the recent Government advice regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the people of Ireland have been asked to restrict their movements to help stop the spread of the virus. In such extraordinary circumstances, it is important to look at the possible consequences that these measures may have on mental health and what support we can continue to provide.
A recent review which looked at the available evidence on mental health outcomes of quarantine and isolation for preventing infectious diseases, observed several psychological conditions. These included mood disorders, fear, guilt, loneliness, feeling a lack of control, insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorders, perceived dirtiness, vigilant handwashing, and avoiding crowns and social gatherings even after quarantine or isolation (Hossain, Sultana, & Purohit, 2020).
Now more than ever, it is important that psychologists can provide continuity in their therapeutic services. With the growing use and affordability of technology many therapists are using online technology to facilitate this support. The use of online therapy, in the delivery of psychological services, is still a relatively new concept and requires its own set of ethical and professional standards of care and practice.
There are some benefits to online and/or video therapy. Some clients may find that they are less inhibited in their online interactions where online therapy may lead to the expression of previously unexplored thoughts and feelings. Online therapy is also advantageous for people living in remote locations with limited facilities. Disadvantages have also been highlighted however, where some feel that there is the potential for non-verbal cues to go unnoticed in the use of online therapy. These circumstances which we are currently living through will likely shed further light on these discussions and impact the future of online therapy.
If you are about to commence therapy online as a client, or therapist, these simple tips may help facilitate a successful therapeutic process.