We are aware that many of you may be feeling anxious and isolated as the reality of Covid-19 touches all our lives. Many, if not all, have had to make the decision to discontinue face to face therapy sessions in order to protect the safety of your clients, yourselves and the wider community. You may well be at home, self-isolating and keeping the required ‘social distance’.
The use of video and phone sessions for client work has been sanctioned for accredited and pre-accredited members, however text sessions have not.
Some of your clients may have opted for telephone/online sessions. For those of us unfamiliar with online therapy, offering such sessions can be a bit daunting. It is far from ideal, but it may be the only way to offer support to our clients at this time. It will be a learning and an adventure for them and for us, and given our capacity for creativity and adaptation, it need not be too terrifying.
Please see the link below for a 9-hour online introductory training for online therapy which may be helpful in the current situation: https://www.kateanthony.net/shortcoursementalhealth/
We would encourage you all as individuals to reach out to your colleagues in IAHIP to offer and receive support. Make contact by phone, email, WhatsApp etc. so that you don’t feel so isolated, especially if you are ‘home alone’!
We will soon have a members’ forum on the website which will enable people to talk to each other, exchange ideas, share how you are managing and receive support.
However, this is still 6-8 weeks away from being up and running.
In the meantime, we recommend that members utilize the IAHIP Members Network Page on Linkedin where people can communicate with one another and support each other by sharing/getting guidance on work strategies and new ideas on how they are working etc. ‘ The link to this page is https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3138785/
Regional WhatsApp Groups
We are asking all the regional reps to make themselves available to create regional WhatsApp groups for any members who wish to join. The idea is that if you are interested in joining such a group you should make contact with your regional rep and leave your name and phone number so that you can be included in the group.
It is envisaged that this group will act as a platform for therapists to offer support to other therapists located in the same area. These groups will be active for the duration of the Covid-19 epidemic only.
We will send the contact details for the Regional Representatives as soon as the system has been set up and approved.
For now the office has remained open, with a rotating presence of one staff member each day. Staff who are not in the office are working remotely. Please be patient if there are delays in replying to telephone or email enquiries.
All of the committees are now meeting remotely to carry on their work.
The Accreditation Committee has devised a plan which will enable the work of the committee to continue despite not being able to meet physically. However, there may be some delays in processing applications. Please be patient with us in this regard.
We have cancelled the hotel booking for the AGM on Saturday 8th May.
We are researching the possibility of holding the AGM by video conferencing.
Student Associates and Remote Sessions
We have had a number of enquiries about students in training not being allowed to offer sessions to clients through phone or video.
We have given this considerable time and thought and have made the decision that the best and most ethical psychological support for clients at this time would not involve allowing student associates, who are only at the beginning of their psychotherapy career, to see clients through video, phone or online means.
As per IAHIP standards we would expect that student trainee associates would be seeing a low number of clients and so we would hope that the impact to the general public would be minimal.
The responsibility of the continuity of care of client’s during this time lies with the therapy services who have made the decision to welcome student associates into their centers. It is their responsibility to ensure that the best possible psychological support is given to the clients of their service at all times.
Following discussion with a number of such centers, IAHIP are aware of measures being put in place whereby centers are re-assigning clients to other more experienced therapists who are in a position to use telephone or online therapy if required.
We want to reassure all student members that we are aware that the opportunity to practice is limited by the above decision, and once the crisis is over we will formulate a plan to support you with the completion of your course requirements.
Meanwhile, student members can continue to receive personal therapy and supervision online from their therapists and supervisors.
We will be posting a Frequently Asked Questions section on the website in the next few days which we hope will answer some of your queries.
We will update this section as new queries come in to the Office.
Stay Safe, Stay Well
While we are playing our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 let us continue to practice all the self-care activities that we constantly insist on with our clients! For those of us who are not working flat out in the health services, this is an opportunity to slow down and enjoy some of the leisure time we so often wish for but do not have!
With every good wish
On Behalf of the Governing Body