“It’s felt really stressful and devastating as I watched my case load disappear overnight. My established private practice that I’ve built up over the years, and that ticked over nicely, providing me with a sustained income from which I’ve created my life, just fell apart.”

“Online and telephone work has allowed clients greater access to counselling than we have seen before. In addition, we are removing the barriers to therapy such as travel, accessibility, work commitments…”

The quotes above are just two of the many stories shared by therapists in private practice who responded to our survey of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their work. They are stories of despair, but also of hope, enormous challenge, learning and resilience.

A total of 161 practitioners responded and we are hugely grateful for their contributions and perspectives. This blog presents the full results of our survey, and updates the interim results which were published in an earlier blog dated 16 April 2020.

It is fitting that we properly value respondents’ contributions and the stories that sit behind them. Thus, we have reproduced their text-based responses in full in the closing sections. The first section provides a brief outline of the survey structure, followed by the survey results.

About the survey

The survey explores how the COVID-19 pandemic is currently impacting on therapists in private practice. Given the rules in force on social distancing, maintaining any level of ongoing contact with clients is requiring those of us ‘non-essential’ practitioners to find alternatives to seeing clients face to face. This development is one that some of us may be better prepared than others to face. Hence, our questions focused on three main areas:

1. Before the pandemic

How have practitioners been providing therapy, specifically across face to face (F2F), phone and online modes? What are practitioners views of the relative effectiveness of each of these modes, and what are their attitudes towards them?

2. Since the pandemic

Are respondents continuing to practice, and if so, in what ways? What proportions of F2F clients have they been successful in migrating to phone or online modes? How have they and their clients experienced the transition, and has it been more or less challenging that they anticipated? Having made the transition, to what extent have attitudes towards non-F2F working changed?

3. In the future

What has happened to new client enquiries and referrals, both private and via EAP’s? To what extent have referrals via each channel increased or decreased? Are respondents now more or less optimistic about their professional futures than previously, and what informs this view?

In all, we received 161 responses to the survey, 152 of which were from practitioners within the UK. The results are summarised below.

Before the pandemic

 

Question: Before the arrival of COVID-19 which best describes your view of the effectiveness of face to face v. phone/online working?

In response to which mode they considered more effective, 69.6% of respondents stated their belief that therapy delivered F2F is more effective than phone or online interventions. 29.2% believe F2F and phone/online interventions to be equally effective (an increase of 3%). Just two respondents ventured that F2F working is less effective.

There remains a clear view among this sample of therapists that F2F work is more effective, despite a significant body of evidence, previously outlined, that phone and F2F working can be equally effective. A selection of their comments is shown below, and the full range of comments are highlighted at the foot of this blog.

Phone work is not the same as online work. Both are not as effective as f2f work.

 I would prefer F2F-contacts for better interaction and more fine tuning to the client

 Ineffective compared to face to face

 It wasn’t my preferred method and would avoid if I could however for some people it may be the only support they can get, and this is I believe better than no support.

I am happy to work online as I believe it can be an effective and useful way of working depending on the needs of the client but am led by my clients who predominantly prefer F2F

 While I am new to telephone counselling, I have been really inspired by the effectiveness of this medium

 I’ve been doing both for years, so they feel as natural to me as breathing

Question: Before the arrival of COVID-19 which modes were you using for your client work?

Given the high proportion of respondents who expressed the view that therapy F2F is more effective than the other modes, a surprisingly high proportion (44.7%) were offering a mixture of F2F and phone or online contact. None, however, worked exclusively by phone or online.

Current state of practice

 

Question: Since the arrival of COVID-19, which best describes the current status of your practice?

Of the 55.3% (n=89) of respondents who have been working only face to face, almost all have migrated some or all of their clients to phone or online contact. Just three stated the intention not to resume till they are able to meet in person once again.

 

Question: What proportion of your face to face clients have you switched to phone or video?

Across all respondents, both those working F2F only and those offering a mix of F2F and phone or online, the proportion of F2F clients that have switched to phone or online varies considerably, as shown below.

More than four in ten (41.3%) respondents have been able to migrate 80 – 100% of their clients to phone or online working, with a further 13.5% achieving a migration of between 60 – 80%. It would appear that significantly more than half of respondents have been able to maintain the larger part of their active caseload, in the short term at  least. As we’ll see in a moment, however, the picture moving forward becomes less clear.

Question: What were your biggest fears about the transition from face to face to phone or online working?

In all, 157 respondents highlighted fears about the transition. Their most significant fears concerned  its impact on their relationship with the client and the ability to remain effective, as well as how well clients might adapt, and whether clients would be lost. Ranked in order of the proportion of respondents expressing them, their concerns are shown below.

Experience of the transition

 

Question: To what extent has the transition been harder or easier than you feared or expected?

Slightly more than half of respondents (53.5%) experienced the transition in migrating from F2F to phone or online as moderately or significantly easier than anticipated.

Approaching four in ten (36.8%) experienced the transition as being about as difficult as they had feared or expected. Only 9.7% experienced it as either moderately or significantly harder than expected.

Asked about who had found the transition more difficult, they or their clients, 77.1% (not shown) said that they and their clients had experienced about the same level of difficulty.

 

Question: Which best describes your current attitude towards working by phone or online?

The survey sought to establish respondents’ attitudes to working by phone or online in the light of their recent experiences. Their responses (155 in all) seem to indicate that many feel more favourably disposed to working by phone or online that might previously have been the case.

39.4% indicated being more favourably disposed to working by phone or online should the need arise. 29.7% went further, suggesting that they might positively embrace this new way of working. It is worth noting that this figure has risen from 23.0% at our first analysis (based on 61 respondents). Just nine (5.7%) selected the option Phone or online work is not for me and that’s unlikely to change.

What’s happened to referrals?

We set out look at the impact of the pandemic on client referrals via the two channels of private practice and EAP’s. Responses show that whatever else may be happening in the world, it’s abundantly clear that the distress evident in our populations is not yet showing up fully in our therapy rooms.

Private client referrals

Of the 158 people who responded to the question of whether private client referrals have increased or decreased, 89.9% indicated a decrease.

The scale of the reductions in private practice referrals is stark. Of respondents who indicated that referrals have decreased, and excluding missing data and null values, the reduction on average is estimated at 67.4%.

 

EAP referrals

A total of 55 people for whom the question was applicable responded to the question of whether referrals from EAP’s have increased or decreased. Of those, all but three indicated that referrals had decreased.

The scale of reduction in EAP referrals is even more stark than that in private practice referrals. Excluding missing data and null values, the average decrease in referrals across respondents stands at 83.4%.

 

Question: Do you feel more or less optimistic than before about your professional future?

How have recent developments impacted on our sense of optimism regarding our professional futures? Quite considerably, it would appear. Slightly less than half of us feel marginally or considerably less optimistic, with the latter category accounting for almost one in five of us.

On a more positive note, however, over a third feel much as before, at least for now. There remain some optimists among us still: those who are either marginally or considerably more optimistic than before account for almost one in five (21.1%) respondents.

As we reported in our last blog, it does appear that we are becoming more optimistic as time goes on. Analysing the responses of the first and last fifty respondents to the survey separately shows that the proportion feeling marginally or considerably more optimistic has risen from one in five to one in three.

A selection of the views, beliefs and hopes that inform these responses is shown below. The full range of comments made by respondents are highlighted at the foot of this blog.

I am down to 1 client. Feels like i will have to start over again

 Lack of new referrals and looming serious financial crisis

 As I am struggling to recover from COVID-19, I haven’t been able to generate enough income to pay my bills. I am going to have to give notice on my office and I don’t know what the future will hold as far as having my own business concerns.

 Therapy is not a priority in people’s hierarchy of needs right now. Money, and lack of privacy (for calling therapist), also huge problems. Likely to be significantly reduced business as long as lockdown is in place.

 I’ve always felt optimistic about the place of counselling and therapy in the world, so this pandemic has confirmed this position but not bolstered it massively.

 Gut feeling based on my belief I am adaptive.

 Having gained experience in telephone counselling with effective outcomes for clients I envision an increase in referrals in the very near future – particularly as I work with health care staff

 The need for counselling is only going to increase so hopefully this will have a positive impact on the counselling profession and mean it is respected more highly.

 We will adapt to new ways of working as appropriate. Life goes on so people will need to access therapy as before

 I think this is a lull before the storm

And finally

We asked people to share any closing thoughts they might have. In response to the question Please share any closing thoughts (for example, how this period has been for you; how it has impacted on your practice; what you have learned; is it a threat or opportunity?), 133 respondents left us with closing thoughts.

Each and every one of those contributions deserves a place here and they are reproduced ‘as is’ in what follows. Please hang on in till the wonderfully compelling closing thoughts. Immediately below are two of those contributions which seem to capture a spirit of resilience, realism and optimism:

First two weeks – almost a trauma reaction in the rush to adapt whilst keeping clients held and seeming to be business as usual for them. Incorporating the feelings around lockdown and self-isolation into all aspects of therapy: relationships, self-value, comparing self with others in terms of experience and gov support received. Working hard to keep line between my own feelings around this and that of clients. It helps to look ahead. A little self-agency goes a long way.

 

V exhausting period, hope it gets better as we all get used to the situation; never have me and all my clients suffered through the exact same thing 😊

To all of you who responded – thank you, stay safe, and please leave thoughts and comments below.

The text based responses

In a sentence or two: Before the arrival of COVID-19, how would you describe your attitude to working by phone/online?

Cautious of technology sustaining connection

ineffective compared to face to face

Not as confident

Reasonably happy

I wasn’t keen. Didn’t think it was as effective. Used for emergencies only

Avoidant

Reluctant.

reluctant and cautious

Open to it, as I see it’s potential benefits.

I would prefer F2F-contact s for better interaction and more finetuning to the client

Not something I wished to offer.

Less experienced. Had been working via phone and had some good experiences.

I was researching working online to add this service in addition to f2f meetings.

Not as good as being “with” the client. Tech issues may arise.

Non-face to face seen as a secondary, fall-back ,temporary option

I’d prefer not to offer it as I might miss a lot of things that could only be seen face to face and it might be harder to build a relationship.

I hate making or answering phone calls for anything. I have comfortably done supervision online before COVID-19 but my preference for therapy is face to face.

We need to be experienced practitioners to understand the differences and limitations of offering online or phone therapy to ensure we are being ethical, consistent and authentic ners

sceptical

Very positive

I was open to it and I had been working with several clients online

I was very reluctant

I would do it if it was in the client’s best interest, but preferred face to face work.

I would prefer F2F-contact s for better interaction and more finetuning to the client

Neutral. Prefer face to face but had nothing to base that on

Phone/online acceptable, if circumstances require it, but not my preference.

I was in no hurry to widen my offer to online.

Apprehensive and unsure

I had a couple of clients that were online/phone

I was happy to do so, but more in a  ‘needs must’ way.

Did it when necessary and almost always after an initial face-face session.

Open-minded, curious, some skepticism.

Cautious with regards to security, and sceptical about its effectiveness

I’m able to do it, and will do it if a client asks. I prefer to be physically present with the client.

I have done it before and don’t mind it, though i prefer f2f

Positive

Open to it but preference for face-to-face

Thought I couldn’t work remotely as hadn’t done appropriate training although comfortable working by phone for parent support

While I am new to telephone counselling I have been really inspired by the effectiveness of this medium

Not something I really wanted to do

Did telephone counselling in various organisations years ago and now solely in private with a smaller client base prefer face to face

Phone work is not the same as online work. Both are not as effective as f2f work.

I’ve been doing both for years so they feel as natural to me as breathing

I would have offered phone work in an emergency only

I viewed it as helpful for some clients in specific circumstances, and had engaged in it. But I was far more confident in connecting to clients face to face.

Not negative at all as I’ve used it with clients before

I wouldn’t have done it

It didn’t seem so comfortable or effective and I tended to avoid it

occasional

OK with it, when asked for it.

I am happy to work online as I believe it can be an effective and useful way of working depending on the needs of the client but am led by my clients who preedominantly prefer F2F

Reluctant

It can be an effective positive experience

Only in exceptional circumstances

I’d never given it much thought as all my work over the past twenty years has been face-to-face exclusively.

It wasn’t my preferred method and would avoid if I could however for some people it may be the only support they can get and this is I believe better than no support.

I wouldn’t have considered either option to be as effective as face to face counselling.

Done reluctantly as a fallback

Was already doing some and enjoyed

Positive

Would have likely avoided

Positive

Positive

The majority of my practice was online before the pandemic started.

happy to though prefer face to face

Not my first preference

It has its place but is not best suited to the way I work.

I had very little call for this so wasn’t openly offered

Unsure how effective this would be or how competent I would feel

Definitely didn’t want to do it at all.

Working online does not offer the same level of nteractive experience as face to face.

The essence of building a working therapeutic relationship is better served seeing the client face to face.

I only offer this as a last resort of if thete is a problem getting to me.

It was something that I was working towards adding within my practice but only as something to offer if face time face was not possible.

It isn’t something I would consider offering. I personally prefer to work fave to face

It wasn’t something i would have considered.

Past experience in a phone based counselling role put me off phone therapy in general. Hadn’t really envisioned needing or wanting to work online.

I did it because I value the increased access it brings for example to people in remote areas or with disabilities (including therapists not just clients) but don’t enjoy it as much as face to face, and neither do my clients and supervisees.

reluctant as I felt I needed training to support a new way of working

I was willing to work in all ways

Prefer doing face to face as i believe it established the therapeutic relationship quicker

Whatever is best for the client

Reluctant

Resistent

Not very keen, not as effective as face2face in developing the therapeutic relationship.  People  need a safe space to explore

Preferred face to face, assumed there was more connection/presence. Aware of need for online work but reluctant to try.

I used it with exiting client’s if required

I had a client online so was comfortable with its efficacy

I would do this as a last resort with clients that i had already established a therapeutic relationship with.

Not something i wanted to do, seemed more distant.

I saw this as a ‘lesser’ provision.

Available as a back up if clients were travelling etc not a core part of my practice

I think I was pretty resistant to it because it was unfamiliar territory

Increasingly positive.

Fine with it, who can afford to be precious?

Second best

I would do it occasionally but would be reluctant on a regular basis as I saw it as avoidance

Positive

Negative

A poor cousin in relation to F2F

Indifferent

Relaxed. Any therapy in a way the client wants/can do it is an opportunity for growth

A ‘needs must’ Led by a client who is unable to attend face to face

It was on my future plans for CPD but way down the bottom of the list.

Interested but felt I needed training to attempt online

Can be powerful, I would say particularly for depression. But much harder to do trauma-focused work, for example

I’ve always felt comfortable working via telephone as I used to be a Samaritan & feel the quality of counselling is just as good as face to face. I always felt video counselling would be impossible for me though as I’m autistic and the weird eye contact & seeing myself on screen would have felt too strange

Not the same – not able to work at depth ok the phone/ online

Enthusiastic

I would prefer not to.

I would only do this if I’d already met the client beforehand face to face

Not so easy, particularly coping with short silences

I did it if client could not meet f2f and was comfortable with it but prefer f2f

Competent to work by phone/online

I would never have chosen to work by phone/online

I’m comfortable with it and do it regularly

If need be i would

I found it very effective, but I deliver a good deal of psychoeducation and dialogic therapy (rather than psychodynamic exploring childhood issues which I think may be better done f-f).

Resistant, and of the belief it is a poor delivery method

I didn’t want to

I was adraid of security, confidentiality and that the client may not engage as they would in the therapy room.

I thought it was fine but there wasn’t much demand

I preferred to work face-to-face and I didn’t offer online or phone therapy. I felt (and still feel) that many somatic and transactional cues are lost in online and phone counselling.

I worked online anyway and felt it gave clients a choice and access to counselling when they may not have been able to otherwise.

New territory I am not qualified for

Unsure.  I was concerned about relational contact being compromised.

Avoidant

reluctant

Occasionally did phone for existing clients so felt ok. Resistant to online

That online was not an effective method of therapy, and I had never seriously considered it.

Second best. I would only do this if a client for eg forgot an appointment

I would not do it personally. I can see it working for some people but I like to be face to face – as a counsellor, client, supervisor and supervisee.

Second best option but good enough if in the room is not feasible.

I’ve always offered. both as I see it as the client gets to choose

I didn’t feel confident in offering online/phone counselling and didn’t feel I could get the same connection with clients as I do face to face.

It works for some clients but it can create some barriers, clients seem to understand better in person.

Not ideal or appropriate

Open to it.

I would be open to it if required.

Not my preferred way of working but is effective

Open minded

It is arduous and whilst effective is also lacking the vitality and micro nutrition of physical presence

Not trained but open to it.

These methods would only be suitable for a small number of the population who are open to this

very Positive. I had been working on line for several years

Not as effective as face to face. Stayed away from it as I thought their would be to many barriers to effective therapeutic work

I do it regularly and find it can work very well, although in person is still the best option where possible

Prefer face to face but some clients were online

Somewhat of a challenge personally and needing to research a lot me before doing it.

Thought it was harder work on phone.

That it works well

A poor alternative to face to face work

I couldnt imagine not working f2f, imagining something in the relationship would be lost by not being in the same room.

Didn’t want to

Harder work

I never sought online or telephone work but would provide for existing clients on request and for new clients that lived abroad

Not my preference due to technology constraints.

What informs this view? (supplementary to Are you feeling more or less optimistic than before about your professional future?)

The zeitgeist is about impact on our mental health

remote working still does impact and help the client

I am down to 1 client. Feels like i will have to start over again

Concerns about the economy and how this effects the clients ability to pay for sessions. Also concerns about whether I will be able to keep a private office on if this health concern continues.  Lack of clients equals lack of rental income for me and my counsellor colleagues who are all seeing a downturn in referrals.

Therapy is not a priority in people’s hierarchy of needs right now. Money, and lack of privacy (for calling therapist), also huge problems. Likely to be significantly reduced business as long as lockdown is in place.

The need for counselling is only going to increase so hopefully this will have a positive impact on the counselling profession and mean it is respected more highly.

I am able to supplement my loss of income via part time employed work

I have less referrals, maybe new clients or referring bodies are still hesitant

Financial impact

The difference for me is not about ‘effectiveness’ it has been about client’s having physical and psychological space and access to secure technology. For my part – the major difference has been not having my usual processing time of journeying to and from the office. – I have only worked with existing clients and am waiting for more free training to become available so that I can meet the BACP recommendation for training.

The number clients who have stayed in counselling in spite of having to switch to online or telephone. That I am getting through this, and my savings budget is there as backup

I think Clients will return and new ones will need help when this situation eases off. I’ll have to start rebuilding though

As I am struggling to recover from COVID-19, I haven’t been able to generate enough income to pay my bills. I am going to have to give notice on my office and I don’t know what the future will hold as far as having my own business concerns.

We will adapt to new ways of working as appropriate. Life goes on so people will need to access therapy as before

Lockdown and the long term effects of people not having work and therefore the finances to engage in Private Therapy

Not much has changed for me

Lack of new referrals and looming serious financial crisis

Once Lockdown is over I expect my work to pick up again. My worry is that EAP’s will now favour online or telephone work at a lower pay rate. But I am hopeful that BACP will challenge this, given the views of the experts in online counselling that I have read.

I have less referrals, maybe new clients or referring bodies are still hesitant

Doing my tax return and seeing that I can earn more as a PAYE

The way so many therapists are throwing themselves without thought into working for free, I feel devalues public perception of us as a Profession. Also personal experience of members of the public insulting or leaving offensive comments on practitioners social media or websites telling us how awful we are for charging for our work and that we’re ‘taking advantage’ of the situation and should just work for free.

Due to potential to offer mixed approaches

Hard to know how things may change and develop as a result of this crisis. Might be more about my own anxiety though I’m not sure….

Drop out of clients. None payment

More awareness of mental health issues due to the pandemic.

There will still be demand for this work. Although the level of funding could remain too low.

I’ve always felt optimistic about the place of counselling and therapy in the world, so this pandemic has confirmed this position but not bolstered it massively.

I think that the profession is ready for a greater level of engagement with online technology, which might reap rewards, but I’m also concerned that some organisations might see it as a cheaper and easier option and punch for it when it’s not in service of the therapeutic relationship.

I wasn’t making a lot of money anyway, this hasn’t changed much.

Experience

My practice was just building and now declining

Wondering if I will be able to build my practice up to the levels before.

Having gained experience in telephone counselling with effective outcomes for clients I envision an increase in referrals in the very near future – particularly as I work with health care staff

BACP – accreditation – SCoPEd – jobs for the boys

Retirement is soon

A total lack of new private or EAP clients.

Worry that EAPs are going to take on new affiliates and pay them less and not refer to me

The lack of new referrals and many of my clients not wanting to continue due to their own economic situation currently

I have been piloting counselling for clients with additional support needs, using “Talking Mats”. The transition to remote working inadvertently demonstrated how important this was in enabling a client who couldn’t otherwise engage and I now have an electronic set up that allows me to use the Talking Mats over Skype.

BACP has labelled me not hood enough without accreditation even though I did a BACP L5 course. Also, the number of free/volunteering counselling has increased significantly. These makes me feel very much alone though i know others feel this way too

Demand is still out there and we’ll be able to resume face to face at some point

The economic crisis, which will prevent some people from coming to my private practice

Less financial ability and feel that it will be harder to reignite the practise

It’s too soon to work out, but I suspect that this is going to affect a lot of people really badly, which should result in a larger number of clients.

Gut feeling based on my belief I am adaptive.

How things are changing daily

Lack of referrals

I’m thinking of this period of time as purely temporary and trust that referrals will return in due course.

Huge reduction in billable hours in a short space or time massive drop in new referrals

I’ve had no new referrals since this started although 2 clients that had suspended therapy have returned to work on line.

Clients won’t have the money to pay for therapy

I think this is a lull before the storm

I can’t see much difference

Take up of online services

Drop in new referrals

Drop in new referrals

clients have settled, new enquiries good

The lack of new clients/referrals

I am able to continue with most of my existing clients supporting them through the crisis, have had some new clients already, and look forward to working face-to-face again when it is safe to do so.

There will be social distancing for some time and there are a lot of free services now being put in place that may never disappear now.

Uncertainty about the length of the lockdown. Also people losing jobs and having less income to spend on therapy

More mental health problems

Will my clients return after lockdown? Will people have financial means to come to counselling?

The decrease in client numbers due to face to face being suspended. The current offering of our services for free.

Economic situation and pressure to offer free therapy

I continue to be concerned about being a self-employed counsellor and how financially stable I can be. The uncertainty, unpaid holidays and unpaid sick are a constant worry for me. The current situation has merely compounded this feeling.

No new referrals in the past three weeks. A lot of current clients said they didn’t want therapy by phone or online. Even when social distancing is no longer required people may be less able to afford therapy

Referrals will likely pick up again after lockdown ends

New way of working that I can utilise is a bonus. There’s been so much free and low cost CPD, and getting extra bits of work done has felt like a professional boost. Also, I feel like we will be very much needed soon.

Fears about the impact on the economy – that people won’t be able to afford therapy after all this, so there might not be enough work.

that my clients have expressed that when the situation allows it they wish to return to face to face therapy

I work in this way anyway

The rapid loss of clients and lack of help from membership bodies to encourage people to seek help in the media.

Need for therapy will increase

The amount of counsellors now prepared to volunteer

Lack of clients

Having lost around 70-80% of my work I am concerned right now, however I feel that our work will come once the pandemic has settled. Trauma, complicated grief & loss etc will have a much longer lasting effect. I just hope funding is put in place to support those in need.

The fact I have retained my clients

Zero new enquiries in the last month, so I need to revisit my model if we stay in lockdown

Lack of work

Less referrals, more free services being set up, clients having no job/less wprk

I think this is a time of hiatus and will pass, I will have learned new ways to offer therapy (which is positive), and will be more resilient.  My belief that face to face therapy is more effective remains however and I very much look forward to being wholly present with my clients again.

A new area of practice with reduced overheads

A sense that I now have a reach much beyond what I had before, no longer restricted by geography in the same way

I like this way of working, more clients can access my practice.

Uncertain times and the associated fears have created more demand, or so it seems for me.

Lack of EAP clients

Transition has been ok and I’ve managed to stay in touch with colleagues which has helped it. I’m also liking the flexibility that it offers and I have much less of a commute too

Drop in new referrals

A sense that I will have a

New’ increased market

Dwindling client numbers and referrals. Also not suitable for many clients on low incomes with no space, exclusionary

I believe, ability of the making a connection with a client is does not change. However, keeping boundaries are harder.

If we market ourselves well and have the necessary training we can still offer an effective service

Slightly less optimistic due to the lack of new referrals however as we move forward this may change, so I remain optimistic

I have done a number of CPD courses re online therapy. I plan on doing more extensive courses on this and plan to offer this as an option going forward therefore expanding my working area.

Referrals will pick up in the future it is too early and in the peak of stress natural coping  needs to happen

Acquiring new skills rapidly, enjoying meeting the challenges (in moments, between Total Overwhelm episodes)!

I have had no EAP referrals since lockdown. I’ve only had 2 self-referrals since lockdown and both of these have been inappropriate. I’ve gone from having a full caseload of 25 clients plus a waiting list to only 4 – 10 clients a week. I specialise in working with neurodiverse people and many don’t feel comfortable working online or by phone. Most clients are booking less frequently (if at all) due to their own job fears and the impact on their income. Because of my own underlying health problems I can’t see myself returning to my office in the near future.

Therapy will always be sourced

We hear a lot about people needing counselling because of this current situation, but no-one is going to have any money

Lack of new enquiries plus current clients wishing to pause therapy. Unlikely my practice is sustainable until things pick up.

Unusual to have no new clients

The lockdown and the virus has affected us all so there will potentially be more clients who want to access counselling

The setting in which I work may close

I’m lucky to have a permanent job alongside

Because most clients who work with me work online because I specialise so they come to me for that speciality and are rarely local.

Current landscape – particularly the continual expectation for counsellors to work for free

I have another way of working to add to what I do

The non-existence of new enquiries

I feel I will be able to return to normal as soon as I’m permitted by the state.

I have some salaried work as well as private which I expect to continue.

The opportunity to move home or country and still provide counselling

We have made a successful transition and relational depth has been maintained – however remote working will be a useful addition for me.

Lack of referrals

I’m still doing good work

Fall in new enquiries. Unknown duration. Economic impact putting pressure on fees

My previous ftf clients want to return, and I have new methods of working now.

I think there will be a huge demand for therapy in the wake of the pandemic. No EAP referrals at all until this week

I work with young people and there is an ongoing need for counsellors in this area, but not many people in my area are qualified or experienced in this field.

Uncertainty about how things will be

I have always given a mix of F2F and online. This is no longer an option

I’m sure people will always want to see a counsellor

I was hoping to move into further training this year

More people will require therapy after all this

People have less money and can’t afford therapy. They’ll be forced into the new NHS structure.. I’ve worked for 20 years in the NHS but couldn’t afford the 50% paycut they offered for work from 1st April.

I have managed to maintain an acceptable level of clients, I’m still getting a small amount of referrals. I’m now looking at additional training regarding working online to now develop that side of my practice when things return to face to face.

Wont know for sure until back to working face to face

Confusion and uncertainty – professional body as well as the wider world

Having an established practice and reputation means that with work I could build my practice back up… I hope!

I’m a relational therapist, the majority of clients are requesting face to face, if the lockdown continues this impacts

Clients who were resistant to calling are finding the experience surprisingly freeing

Online and telephone work has allow clients greater access to counselling than we have seen before. In addition, we are removing the barriers to therapy such as travel, accessibility, work commitments… sessions can be limited to the therapeutic time rather than the two hours to get to and from sessions making it less of a task than normal therapy.

Lockdown period has been very challenging and brought ‘new stuff’ of my own to the surface for me. So I can now work through this and my effectiveness as a therapist will improve as a result of my own personal growth.

I feel my business will bounce back in time

Mindset that what will be will be.

Maybe wider access to population as no location issues if working on line only.

Everyone is in the same position

Increased need makes me feel I can be useful in the private practice arena which is where I would like to gradually establish myself

I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my skills having had great telephone sessions. Still not interested in online as I’m having online counselling myself and it doesn’t really do it for me.

Things will get back to normal eventually and I was already doing well

Though I could pursue the online work more vigorously I do feel a reluctance from existing clients; some would prefer to wait until they can return to face to face work, some see this as a stop gap. I hope my busy practice will return but I also fear that I will have to reduce my rate per hour but the costs of running my practice have not reduced and that the uptake for both the online and face to face return will be slow to build.

I have weathered bad storms before

Closing thoughts

2/3rds of my clients declined to use the phone. One from privacy issues, speaking from home, and one because her income stopped, overnight and for the  foreseeable.

My scheduled workshop was moved online, but to a platform where I couldn’t see the participants (it was at a university and they chose the platform, which clearly is for lectures).

So that was frustrating as it hampered the interaction and I might not get recommissioned.

So my income is reduced.

I find remote working more draining than face to face as staring ar a screen instead of direct person to person more intense

Adapting as required

Practice is all but dead. First year so no financial support from goverent

I think it has been a bit of both in terms of an opportunity in the sense that this change of life has made me embrace online theory and training as I have been forced to work online. That part has extended my knowledge and practice and I’ve learned new skills.  However, the economic changes and global fears may really effect client numbers in the future as people lose money and struggle to rebuild lives after job losses and health concerns.

Stressful. Clients who didn’t want to switch to video/phone, plus natural endings happening whilst no new requests coming in, means my business is down 50% and likely to drop further. Very sad.

The majority of clients want face to face work. It’s impacted significantly.  I’m taking the opportunity to work on my Masters Thesis.

It is an opportunity too: I have more space to think, because I am less in the spotlight. Also, I tend to pay more attention to non-verbal communication (hand-movements, smiles, leaning forward/backward) to stimulate the interaction

Difficult containing uncertainty for clients and practitioners. It has been slightly easier to adapt but I prepared my clients early and took a practical approach, which was helpfully echoed by BACP (ie. needs must). There has been some degree of providing free training which has been gratefully received. But it would be good to have a peer supervision network set up. I’ve also been dealing with a close bereavement, my partner has been furloghed and we also have children so there are many issues to manage.

Working with teenagers and young people it has been valuable to be able to continue to provide the therapeutic space. The main challenges have been about finding private space for clients to do this at home.

First two weeks – almost a trauma reaction in the rush to adapt whilst keeping clients held and seeming to be business as usual for them. Incorporating the feelings around lockdown and self-isolation into all aspects of therapy: relationships, self-value, comparing self with others in terms of experience and gov support received. Working hard to keep line between my own feelings around this and that of clients. It helps to look ahead.  A little self-agency goes a long way.

I’ve found people have put the issues they came to counselling for on hold but those that have continued appear less inhibited online than in person. Issues around my self care, self disclosure and confidentiality have been intensified by working from home plus the pandemic.

I have applied for paid work with an employer but I have a history of underlying health conditions which make it likely that it is going to take me months to recover from COVID-19. This worries me as I am likely to lose my private practice business altogether and I’m not sure I can sustain being an employee enough to cover my bills. I’m too ill to do much to help myself move forwards at the moment.

It is both a threat and an opportunity. Many people cannot access online therapy while living at home with others as their confidentiality is comprised, people cannot afford sessions due to current economic issues. Transferring to online therapy with ongoing clients is an opportunity to work differently and can bring new material to light, particularly if the working alliance is well developed. I am still cautious about taking on new clients via online platforms.

Id like to think its an opportunity however. I think that will come later rather than right now.

V exhausting period, hope it gets better as we all get used to the situation; never have me and all my clients suffered through the exact same thing 😊

It has been nice working with fewer clients and it has been good learning more about online and telephone work. I have learnt that online and telephone counselling can be as effective as face to face work for clients who are comfortable with those mediums. It has had a negative impact upon my financial situation and I am worried about my EAP work as I have not received any referrals since Lockdown. Ultimately, this period has been both an opportunity and a threat.

It is an opportunity too: I have more space to think, because I am less in the spotlight. Also, I tend to pay more attention to non-verbal communication (hand-movements, smiles, leaning forward/backward) to stimulate the interaction

I believe its a threat to ever making ends meet. It’s destroyed my private practice. I am conflicted by therapists throwing themselves at anyone who will see them for free, seemingly desperate to ‘help’ without clear evidence that they will be able, and without thinking about how this devalues our services. I love working from home and am experienced with telephone and online work, but I have seen a lot of poor quality delivery by others, e.g. some supervisors which makes me despair of the quality of some of the therapy likely happening now. I am also very hurt by the aggressive, insulting comments I have seen from members of the public who think it’s acceptable to post on private practitioners Web pages or social media that they are exploiting the situation and should work for free. I have received nothing of use from my membership body bacp, and as I started my practice this year I qualify for no government support. I am more likely to be happy taking an online client, but I was always open minded about novel or different methods of therapy.

An opportunity, but also a huge struggle to combat and manage anxiety

It’s a bit of both I feel – can vary throughout the day/week as my mood and that of my family/friends/colleagues varies.

Trying to see as opportunity. Lack support in personal life for this endeavour. So struggle at times

It’s a chance to widen my reach as a private practitioner – so I’m not limited by geography. In terms of my work in a major university as an employed counsellor, I think the long-term impact may be slightly detrimental in that it’ll be more tempting for management to outsource more therapy to remote providers (as was already beginning to happen pre-Covid-19).

I’ve been very struck at my clients’ and my own resilience and adaptability during this time. Covid 19 has given us all a reason to dig deep into our inner strength and find ways of working that support us.

The early stages, pre-lockdown were difficult to navigate. The lack of clear leadership meant lots of different reactions from organisations, clients and the public. Since lockdown, there’s a growing sense of “the new normal”, which I can work with.

I have personally struggled with existential dread, and I have been grateful that my continuing clients are not very concerned by the virus. I think I would struggle greatly working with clients directly impacted.

Short term threat / long term opportunity. Finding it a little despondent as clients are making the decision to put their therapy on hold which wouldn’t have happened if the lockdown had not happened.

It has been an opportunity to provide a counselling service to front line staff when they are experiencing fear distress and trauma. I have honed my skills in working with trauma as well as using psycho education to help empower clients and resourcing clients experientially in the session so they have something tangible to use under stress. I have been mindful of my own self care as the levels of distress is very high.

I’m hopeful my existing clients who chose to wait it out will come back & I can resume f2f with all. I’ve found some sessions overwhelming, and needed more supervision

It has been largely a positive impact on my practise as clients know it is temporary, it has shown me yet again in my practise that so long as there is a therapeutic alliance between me and the client they are adaptable to short term change.

I’m sick of therapists forced optimism. It’s either denial or an expression of personal affluence, where they can afford to work as a hobby, even if it causes them non-financial sense.

It’s been a mixed bag. Some highs and some lows. A real reminder of how precarious existence can be at times, including our own. There are opportunities in all this I’m sure though

It has been a difficult transition. Managing my own anxieties alongside my clients. This has contributed to a big change in the work. I miss the body to body work being in the room offers. I find telephone sessions tiring . I see it as a needs must – we are after all in the middle of a global disaster

I still value the ability to deploy body language in person, and I lost a couple of clients who didn’t want to work remotely, but I am delighted to find that I have been able to continue with my pilot online. And it allows counselling to be more accessible for people who find travel difficult.

I’m glad ive been able to be there for my client’s. Enquiries have dried up while volunteering has gone ablaze. It has become more evident that we are not unified and not sure what will unify us. The current level of volunteering is a massive threat to our profession. I have been amazed not in a good way, at the length some will go to offer volunteering and make money out of it.

It’s been really hard as I lost the majority of my clients. I find online is ok and actually it works well for one very schizoid client who goes out with her dog during online sessions and finds it easier to talk, less intense, than the therapy room. However I find it really hard to feel my counter transference online and the slight time delay sometimes feel clunky.

It´s an opportunity. It allows me to focus more on my self-care and reflection on my professional practice.

Its really hard to ascertain my capacity for supporting others with the additional toll of Covid 19

It’s an unknown. The biggest problem is people are concerned about their own and their family’s finances.

I have found the lack of appropriate, free or low cost video-platforms which are secure and don’t mine data incredibly difficult. Whilst I recognise the limitations to confidentiality and convey these to my clients, it doesn’t feel good enough.

This period has impacted on my clientele due to closure of schools.

I feel this period has highlighted the positive effects of face to face practice as oppossed to tel/online.

It’s a chance to think outside the box and be more creative; I’ve made a few significant changes in the hope of keeping referrals coming in.

It has made me quite anxious about practice and I feel like I’m having less of an impact on people’s lives

I’ve had to give notice on 3 out of 4 of my private practice therapy rooms due to lack of income.

I’ve retained 1 therapy room in order to feel I still have a private practice to go back to once this pandemic is over, even though I’m not using it.

The pandemic has forced me to use online therapy and although I have adapted to it, half of my clients have suspended therapy. For those who have continued, two thirds have said they want face to face therapy sessions, because this gives them a private and confidential space to talk, that is away from their home and their family members.

On line work, including WhatsApp and FaceTime has been easier than I expected

Decline in income worrying but I imagine this will change as the true impact starts to manifest and people need support.

Opportunity

My practice hasn’t changed much at all. I worked online before this all started. There has been very little transitioning to do with clients.

I have increased the number of clients I am seeing I think that is due to my expertise and training in a niche client group.

I alongside my clients are struggling somewhat right now, loss of employment, finances, rising debt etc

I have lost 35% of my client income. I have learned that online sessions are a good option for now but it is not a full substitute for the way I was trained to work with clients and wish to return to in due course.

I did offer telephone counselling to the clients I was seeing only 2 took me up on this but then due to privacy both want to wait for f2f. That’s all 15 of my clients no longer attending which means I am likely to be starting from scratch as I believe a number of them will drop away after this also stops.

I am trying to see that the experience can be a positive one in that I am gaining knowledge and experience of working online and therefore could potentially have clients who are outside of my normal catchment area.

My supervisor has been fab in helping me embrace online work, her enthusiasm has been transformatory.

It has been a quick downturn in income. I am struggling to keep my practice running.

It’s felt really stressful and devastating as I watched my case load disappear overnight. My established private practice that I’ve built up over the years, and that ticked over nicely, providing me with a sustained income from which Ive created my life, just  fell apart. As a result Ive floundered to adjust to offering my counselling remotely, but somehow I’ve managed to adapt and I’m still working, but on a very reduced case load. All of my private clients suspended until we can resume f2f, EAP referrals are down, SPS and Carers referrals have stopped. My income is severely decreased as a result. But my registration and other costs remain the same.

My mental health and cptsd have been negatively effected. I have kids at home and feel shame about my parenting skills. I am a single parent so money was already tight, now I have to pay a childminder so I can cope.

I initially struggled and felt anxious when I lost about 90% of my paid work in the space of a few days. I have managed to persuade some clients to move to phone or internet sessions but the majority either ended or asked to put their sessions on hold. My current financial insecurity and lack of prospective clients leaves me feeling somewhat panicky about the future. I’m trying to remain positive but it gets harder as more time passes.

Drastically reduced my client numbers, no new referrals causing a vast drop in my income.

Enjoying having less work as needed a break.

Initially this was definitely a threat, however I now have a more optimistic view. The transition was much smoother than I expected and although I do feel like I miss some cues, essentially I feel the relationship is still there. I lost about 25% of my clients and know it could’ve been a lot worse. I work predominantly with under 40s so I think that probably made a big difference around any technology issues.

I was just getting back to more normality after two lots of major surgery last year that prevented me working for a while, then only online working only for a time. Just as my work life and health were recovering, to be hit by the financial, social and work impact of this is particularly hard to take when I was just emerging from six months practical isolation and total loss of income. Many of my clients and supervisees had worked online with me during my absence so we’re ready to return to that during this crisis. Others, having waited for six months for my return, were also willing to work online rather than be without me even longer. A couple don’t like it so didn’t move over. But just as I was about to restart EAP work it all stopped, along with private referrals, so I am not earning enough to cover my bills.

this has been a period of reflection for me, how do I wish to work in the future, recognising the value in what I offer, face to face work is so important to how I work and what I offer.   To share the same environment and physical space with a client is invaluable.  A separate space away from home allows the relationship to thrive and deepen.

I have had clients put their therapy on hold however believe they will return following the lockdown. I also believe if people recognised that online/phone sessions were as effective if the need arose then there would be more work available

More of a threat to a business model.as to how quickly clients can disappear. Thankfully I do not have to rely on my private practise for all my income..

Have felt a rollercoaster of emotions and have lacked motivation at times will struggle financially if this lasts much longer and may have to get a job to survive

My closing thoughts would be this is a pivotal moment for our field of work. Unless the sheer amount of numbers of volunteers begins to dissipate,  I cannot see a future as a viable practitioner.

It’s a nightmare, have lost 95% of my existing clients and had no new ones in the past month.  People in my area prefer face 2face

See previous answer

I think it may be an opportunity, but work that changing my business model to suit the current situation may cause problems further down the line. I have been quite resistant to doing prices, offering packages etc.

Its been tough, but I hope for a brighter future

Online and phone work are more intense and more tiring.

It has been a challenging time for us all, shaking us up a bit and pushing us to the edge of our comfort zones, sometimes beyond. But it is an important jolt to remind us that we can’t stop still and we need to keep moving forward and innovating our practice

There was a lot of work involved moving clients to work remotely. Self care was important as was supervision. BACP guidance could have been quicker and clearer.

I’ve learned that this is an opportunity to embrace new ways of working, to challenge some of the dominant discourses and expectations I held as a therapist and triumph in adversity. It has also revealed some of the more unsavoury elements within our field, including opportunists who have sought to benefit by exploiting the good nature of therapists or certain individuals and groups that have used this time to further their own agenda, by attacking professional bodies and employers.

The EAP have stopped referring clients only one private client has continued since I stopped being able to see them F2F

As a counsellor specialising in Oncology and Haematology Counselling, and going through treatment for cancer myself, this has undoubtedly been a period of e extraordinary learning and personal development.  I am now keenly aware of the potential benefits of offering online counselling to those going through cancer particularly when immunity is compromised. Fascinating times.

I’ve learnt to adapt, but I’ll return to f2f because that’s how I work

I see this as an opportunity to slow down, have more time to read and look forward to speaking with the clients I still have

Very much more aware of my own fears and anxieties around current lockdown and it’s impact on my own wellbeing

I went from 20 clients to 3, had 2 new referrals start. As bad as it is financially I am trying to approach this pragmatically by taking advantage of all the free and reduced CPD and getting all my admin tasks done that I never prioritised before.

Learnt opportunity

I remain in steady work in the NHS, 3rd sector, and small private practice, so am cushioned from some of the real difficulties others are experiencing. I struggled most (so far) in the first week or two, but feel more settled now, and hopeful for my professional future. I’ve avoided working online until now because of the massive tech and skills issues – have been forced to catch up, and hope to build my private petite in a few months, and also start running groups online

Having had a busy, full, thriving private practice for over a decade, it’s now decreased dramatically. Neither private clients nor EAP referrals are coming in. It must be fine for people who choose to work with clients who have ‘privileged, however most of mine don’t due to my location and the clients groups I specialise with working within. My partner has additionally been furloughed and may be facing redundancy, so the chances are my business will fold and we may face bankruptcy. Due to my own disabilities I will be unable to work elsewhere, so it’s a frightening time.

I wrote about it here https://www.privatepracticepaperwork.com/2020/04/23/fenderrhodes/

I have found this period very difficult. My clients have mostly decided to wait until we can meet face to face, but the uncertainty of when this will be worries me. I am finding my mental health has suffered and therefore I am not persuing new clients or encouraging existing ones to move to online. It’s about all I can do to home school, look after my children’s mental health and try to keep up with CPD.

It’s an opportunity to offer more modes of therapy to clients

Given time to reflect and focus on tasks. Need for flexibility and new skills learning. Change focus from almost all f2f to online telephone but this means I’m now in competition with every other therapist, not just local. Tough times ahead.

Had no new clients since a week before lock down. EAPs have made money by paying us less. Maybe to many people are able to work for free.

The experience has been a roller coaster of emotions. Grieving life as it was, uncertain about life as it is now and concern about the future post lockdown. Because both myself and clients are experiencing the same, it is easier to have empathy and shared experience. I did see it as a threat but now see it as an opportunity.

It has been very challenging to support clients when my own anxiety has been high

It’s more tiring!

I miss seeing my f-f clients and feel sad at the loss of choice to meet f-f. The shared threat is a challenge and makes the work more exhausting but being honest about that means we can move past it to some degree and get on with the therapy.

It is a valuable process as it has meant that working practise has been hauled out of comfort zones. Learning taken is that when we need to adapt we can but unless we have to, most are unlikely to.

I adapted quickly to going online and have felt my confidence grow as time has gone on. I’m now less tired after sessions and feel able to do more. At the beginning I was glad not to have all my clients as I needed time to adjust as I was feeling unsettled

I can see many more opportunities arising in the future.

A threat probably

I’m fortunate in that I have significant reserves that enable me to pause much of my work for now. However, I’m still paying rent on premises I’m currently not using and I would hope that the lockdown will end soon, so that I can go back to face-to-face work. Although I prefer face-to-face work, I’m now looking at the possibility of working online in the future for some part of my client work.

I feel the greatest threat in this period is the volunteering culture, we are already underpaid and seen as hobbyist and while we will be needed more than ever the expectation that we will provide our services for free is a challenge to the whole profession. Especially those of us who are dependant on the income to keep a roof over our heads.

It is an opportunity – although has highlighted my lack of skill in attracting online clients

It’s a huge opportunity but it requires an adjustment to the way I work – remote working feels more tiring to me currently,  and I therefore am allowing more space between clients to accommodate this.  Many of my ‘anxious’ clients have found that they are in a much better place right now paradoxically – they feel that others are now sharing and understanding their experience of the world as potentially anxiety provoking,  and feel less ‘different’ as a result. It’s also an opportunity to get to know ourselves more deeply.

I have learned a lot about different methods of working

I am pleased to find I am still having meaningful, relational, shared experiences with my clients. None of them are complaining about being online. I’m amazed that I have started with a number of new clients since cv started so we have only met online, and the work still feels effective. I am more active and there are less silences – so its a little different – but it works. Would be hard not to prefer being in the room together though, given the choice – can’t beat two bodies in a room! Also – several clients have asked for twice weekly sessions (usually we only meet once a week) – as there is more time, and they are going deeply into their process without distraction.

Need for more self care – it’s an anxious time personally as well as offering usual containment for clients!

I initially thought it was a mortal threat, but with flexibility and engaging with technology, I now perceive a future offering previous ftf therapy, and also others methods of delivery. All very exciting, really.

I have learned that remote therapy can be effective; but I can’t wait to get back to face to face asap

It was very hard having to stop so quickly with clients. I am concerned that my outgoings have not changed e.g. rent and BACP membership, but I have no income from private clients now.

I find working with a screen far more tiring than I had anticipated and it has reduced my positive thinking about my work to some extent.

As we are still going through this period of uncertainty in the world it is difficult to say exactly how it’s been for me, right now I am thankful for my own therapy as I feel at times very anxious about Covid-19 and the future. My practice has stayed much the same regarding clients but I do feel more anxious in my ability as a therapist than I would normally be. I’ve learned that online and telephone counselling are as beneficial to clients as face to face and in that sense it has been beneficial to me. I have also engaged in quite a few online workshops which I have found very beneficial not only from a learning experience but to be able to engage with other therapist too.

It’s a threat. I think more services will encourage home working to save costs.

I love working from home and online and want to do much for like this.

I miss my regular working space and environment

None of your questions mentioned the financial impact on clients and therapist! What about a question if transition was possible due to technology and/or financial circumstances? This survey won’t reflect that! Good attempt though.

It is for now a threat, it is becoming a necessity to find a different way of being … an opportunity to stretch and test the edges of my ability to work ethically, to allow any challenge to what that means

Neither. Clients open to online counselling will continue to be, ones who have had to switch still seem to prefer to go back to f2f as soon as possible.

An opportunity to reflect due to the time is positive, clients not feeling able to engage via digitise/telephone is discouraging

An opportunity

It’s been a valuable journey that as a industry we need to take stock of and learn from the environment we find ourselves in… this CV period is an unprecedented time that has thrust the industry into what feels like a Zimbardo style experiment….. hopefully this wil never be experienced again but let’s learn from it. I feel like I have learnt so much and the major thing is that we don’t have to be sat face to face… there is therapeutic value in being apart. But more than ever DNA rates are down and it’s allowing greater access to service.

Nothing to add here

I have had less work but I have used this time to my advantage to look after myself and enjoy more free time. I trust that clients will return and I will be busy again

Surprised how well clients have adapted and continued to engage. Learned that clients coming to my home was more stressful and intrusive than I realised.

It’s an opportunity to push myself outside my comfort zone

Adversity always provides opportunities for learning & growth & this crisis is no different. I have adapted my ways or working & learnt about aspects my professional self & ways of working which will impact upon my future practice.

I’ve got paid work in charities. In one, the phone has just stopped ringing and we will have to close this summer unless there’s s miracle. In the other charity there is plenty of client work . When I go into private practice I’ll now be offering telephone sessions. Most challenging I think has been navigating my feelings to Covid 19 at the same time as some clients.

Potentially more clients afterwards

Learnt more about myself and challenged myself

Initially very scary as my busy full time working practice dropped to almost zero the week prior to lockdown. I am lucky that I can roll with it but I have some fear that it will take a very long time to either build up the online practice and to return to ‘normal working’.

Lost over half my clients, referrals virtually zero. Probably got the client level I can cope with for now. Sticking to my boundaries and what works for me. Its exhausting working this way. Adapted to bigger gaps and lowered my max client per day level. Neither threat nor opportunity. It is what it is.

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Posted by:Barry McInnes

4 replies on “Are we embracing a new way of working?

    1. David, you’re very kind. I have to confess there was an element of ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ from the previous analysis, so it wasn’t from a standing start!

  1. Very interesting to read… excellent work whether prepared and part done or new… all very useful to flag what is out there and put some numbers to the gut instincts… thank you Barry! Such a lot of disappointment and worry from too many people… peoples practice and livelihood disappearing overnight is traumatic … other than paid supervision services as part of people’s practice requirements are there any supports around for these folks? My practice has reduced due to lack of referrals but my existing clients and supervises have booked more so this has balanced out. 50% of my Referrals are from Health insurance companies and nothing coming from there either. A couple of colleague recommendations and that’s it. It is excellent, however, how so many have adapted and found their clients also are able to adapt… and that optimism is around as well… Just wondered how we can support colleagues going through this extraordinary time who are seeing their business and livelihood under severe threat? Lynne J

    1. Many thanks Lynne. It’s clear that the effects of the lockdown have been generally pretty traumatic, and for some more than others. My sense is that the key factors determining how well we’ve adapted a combination of a) our prior views of the effectiveness of F2F v. phone/online, and b) the extent to which we’ve been exposed to phone or online working beforehand. I realise I’m pretty unusual in that I’ve been doing counselling by phone since 1996 so I was very positive about non-F2F work already. For many others, though, the learning curve has been brutal. I think the supports are limited, if we’re talking about non-government/financial. I know the BACP have been putting in a lot of additional resources for BACP members in terms of training for working online, and other CPD resources. I’ve also seen membership of the BACP Members Community and other Facebook therapist groups skyrocket over the past few weeks, so they’re probably becoming a significant source of community and support for many of us! Take care, Barry

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