On practicing psychotherapy in a socially distant world

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Parker, Siobhán
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The Covid-19 pandemic has modified how psychotherapy is conducted. Accrediting bodies have recommended and sanctioned telephone and video communication for the continuation of therapy sessions during the Coronavirus outbreak in lieu of face-to-face communication. This method of communication ensures best-health practices are maintained as well as complying with national social distancing restrictions. This paper explores the implications of utilising technological communication in the psychotherapeutic relationship. Technologically mediated therapies have become more accessible in the 21st century, resulting in a growing population that can avail of these services. Extrapolating information from literature, this paper provides the reader with a perspective on the implications of mediated communication i.e. online audio-visual, telecommunication and text-based therapy via mobile or computer within the therapeutic relationship. Themes presented include presence, the holding environment, reliability of technology, verbal and non-verbal cues, presentation of self on the screen and other challenges and acknowledgements. In conclusion, this paper summarises the difficulty in facilitating therapy through technologically based devices. Whilst recognising the need for remote communication in the extraordinary times, face to face setting is preferential in the long-term.