Psychotherapy in the Era of Covid-19: Therapists’ Decisions to Return to In-Person, Continue Working Remotely, or Offer a Hybrid Method

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Published Jun 20, 2022
Liat Shklarski Allison Abrams Elana Bakst

Abstract

The threat of the Covid-19 virus is ongoing and has significantly affected the provision of mental health services, particularly psychotherapy. This quantitative study offers insight into 212 therapists’ views on whether to return to meeting clients in person by considering (a) therapists’ personal and professional attitudes, (b) safety (specifically related to vaccines and wearing masks), and (c) insurance reimbursement for telemental health (TMH). Results from this study show that participants find TMH to be as effective and as meaningful as in-person therapy and suggest that on a practice level, TMH is not only as effective as in-person psychotherapy but is even more effective than masked in-person therapy. The results also show that the participants would prefer not to provide in-person therapy while wearing masks and would be more inclined to return to seeing clients in the office if both the client and the therapist were fully vaccinated. Moving forward, the participants anticipate providing a combination of remote and in-person therapy while continuing to work from home on some days and in the office on others. More concrete guidelines are needed to ensure the safety of clients and therapists when meeting in person, and policies that reduce ambiguity surrounding insurance companies’ reimbursement of remote services must be developed.

How to Cite

Shklarski, L., Abrams, A., & Bakst, E. (2022). Psychotherapy in the Era of Covid-19: Therapists’ Decisions to Return to In-Person, Continue Working Remotely, or Offer a Hybrid Method . Digital Psychology, 3(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.24989/dp.v3i1.2034

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Keywords

Covid-19, In-person psychotherapy, Telemental Health, remote psychotherapy, mental health

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Original Article