When the country went into lockdown in March this year, I stopped seeing clients face to face and moved all of my client sessions online where possible. This was in line with government policy and health and safety guidelines for the COVID19 outbreak. Since then I have continued to see clients online, using secure video conferencing, and it is working well. Most clients have found it easy and convenient, and whilst there are some disadvantages over seeing clients in person, it is a very good alternative. Some clients have told me that they now prefer this medium. Some of the comments have been that it feels more direct and personal and that it fits in better with their busy lives.
A few clients have, however, asked me when I will be going back to face to face work. The honest answer to that is that I don’t yet know. I have been following updates from the government and also my professional associations and my insurer. The latter all continue to urge caution before returning to face to face work. It will require me to complete a detailed risk assessment and implement some new health & safety procedures, all of which I feel will have a considerable impact on my practice and client work. This will include using PPE (such as face masks) and putting in place a robust cleaning schedule between clients, not only of my office but also the common areas and WCs. However, I am also following my gut feeling, which is telling me to wait and see how the easing of lockdown impacts Coronavirus case numbers in my area.
I also have to consider the impact upon myself personally of returning to face to face work, not least the increased risk of contracting the virus myself, or passing it on. This is obviously a concern for me, not only for my clients but also because I am responsible for family members who are vulnerable and as I am self employed I will not receive sick pay if I need to take time off or self isolate.
I currently feel that it will be at least a month or longer before I will be ready to open up my practice office to clients again. I am keeping your and my own safety in mind, particularly as my office is within a shared office building with many people coming in and out of the premises every day.
I apologise to those clients who would like to come and see me in person, however I am erring on the side of safety and in line with current advice for my profession. I will continue to update my clients on my decisions about returning to face to face work.
The spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a huge challenge to us all, changing the way we live our day to day lives. Businesses too are being significantly impacted by the implications of social distancing and self isolation measures. Many businesses will struggle to survive and continue to pay their overheads with little or no income. Therapy practitioners such as myself are no less affected, as more clients wish to avoid attending sessions in person, we are seeing our booking diaries becoming emptier. Many therapists are likely to go out of business at this challenging time.
Some practitioners have started to offer online therapy as an alternative, to meet the needs of their clients and to help keep their practices open. Online therapy is something I already offered and have done for many years now, so I have a lot of experience of it. I use a secure platform (Zoom) and apply the same client privacy principals as I do to face to face work. Whilst it can take some getting used to at first, once you get going you will notice little difference to a face to face session, and there are advantages too – such as not having to travel to my office, therefore saving time and hassle. Modern technology means that people can access their therapy sessions from anywhere, via their PC, laptop, tablet or even smartphone.
The current situation is causing people a lot of stress. Some may find it difficult to lose access to their regular therapy sessions. Others may feel they need some additional support to cope with what is happening, or the impact of the changes to their life. If you are having doubts about continuing or booking therapy sessions during the COVID-19 outbreak, do think about trying out online therapy, with myself or another practitioner offering it.
If you’d like to try online therapy, I offer an initial consultation at the lower cost of £20 for up to an hour. This will enable us to discuss what you wish to address and your objectives and me to give you feedback on therapy options, with no obligation to continue with more sessions.
Please get in touch if you would like to book an online session, know more about online therapy, or ask me anything else related to therapy or my practice.
Regrettably I will no longer be practicing regularly in Great Missenden as of the end of December 2019. This is due to the permanent closure of Healthy Balance Clinic, where I have held a practice since its opening 8 years ago.
I will therefore no longer be taking on new clients at that location with immediate effect. I will do my best to accommodate existing clients from that location, either at my High Wycombe practice or via online sessions if that is more convenient. As I have practiced in that location for a long time, I may look for alternative premises to practice from, and will update my clients and my website accordingly.
Please contact me with any enquiries or concerns relating to this news.