The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we live and work on a day-by-day basis, and for those in the therapeutic and counselling professions this is no different. In our private therapist group on Facebook (open to members and non-members who we can verify as professional therapists and counsellors), members have been sharing their experiences and insights. Many cite offering their clients to work online instead of in-person and fears around losing clients who may not be able to afford to continue therapy as their work has been affected by Covid-19.

The UKCP has recently encouraged therapists and counsellors to consider and prepare for the following:

  • Whether you both have the means and ability to conduct therapy remotely such as by telephone or online. Would this way of communicating be appropriate?
  • How you will keep in touch about any changes to your normal arrangements.
  • What you will share with the NHS should you test positive for Covid-19 and be asked for contact tracing information.
  • How and when fee arrangements would be affected.

We wanted to provide this resource to hopefully offer our members important information about what they can do during this time. If there is any way we can support you, do reach out to us on [email protected] and we will do our best to help.

1) The BACP have gathered their resources about working online, open to members and non-members alike here.

2) If you are worried about continuing to work with a client who is showing potential coronavirus symptoms, the BACP recommends the following:

"You need to weigh up the commitment to put clients first with the principle of self-care.

Good Practice point 91 in the Ethical Framework provides the following guidance on care of self as a practitioner:

1. We’ll take responsibility for our own wellbeing as essential to sustaining good practice with our clients by:
a. taking precautions to protect our own physical safety
b. monitoring and maintaining our own psychological and physical health, particularly that we are sufficiently resilient and resourceful to undertake our work in ways that satisfy professional standards
c. seeking professional support and services as the need arises
d. keeping a healthy balance between our work and other aspects of life

  • what you’ll do if you or anyone in the setting where you practice is symptomatic
  • what you’d like your clients to do if they are symptomatic
  • whether there is an alternative method of contact if the virus becomes more widespread (for example phone or online contact)."

3) Therapists and counsellors are coming together and offering support. Karen Pollock, one of our therapist members, is offering a free emergency webinar on using Zoom with your clients. Find out more here.

4) If we can help you set up your diary on, let us know. There is an integrated diary system available to you within your profile. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Log into your account
  • Visit the 'Profile' tab
  • Go to 'Bookings' and fill out the Stripe form to enable you to accept online payments 
  • Once you have connected with Stripe, visit 'Account' and 'Diary settings' and 'Diary schedule' to set up your working hours

You can then set up appointments for your clients under the 'Diary' tab on the right hand side. Please do drop us an email if you would like to talk this through on the phone. 

5) We are pushing forward a development update that will make it easier for clients to find online therapists from the Find A Therapist landing page. If you do offer services online or are moving to offering online counselling in light of the coronavirus outbreak, please ensure you have made this clear on your profile. To do this, please:

  • Log into your account
  • Visit the 'Profile' tab
  • Go to 'Questionnaire' and select the relevant online options 
  • Go to 'Locations' and create a new online location by simply inputting 'ONLINE' into the postcode box and saving

6) Read an experienced online therapist's checklist here

7) Remember to take care of yourselves, too. 

Particularly at times like this, therapists, counsellors and other health care professionals may come under huge strain as they try to manage their own wellbeing while continuing to prioritise that of their clients. Again, if we can help – let us know. We will keep this article up to date with new relevant information.

The team