Is it Safe to Go Back to In-Person Therapy Sessions?
Originally posted 22 June 2020 on The Stouffville Review
Just a few short months ago, none of us could have imagined how our lives would change at the onset of the Corona Virus. Now, several months into a global pandemic and resulting global quarantine, the world is slowly starting to open back up.
But a lot of people wonder how long it will take before things fully return to normal. And many now wonder if it’s safe to go back into therapy?
This is an interesting question and dilemma, because now more than ever, people need to be able to get the help they need to cope with the stress and loneliness of quarantine and the economic shutdown.
Speak to Your Therapist About Other Options
Just as every city, state, and nation are opening back up at their own pace, individual business owners and practice owners will also decide when and how they will open back up. If you were actively working with a therapist before the pandemic, you more than likely continued to work with them either via phone or online chat.
But admittedly, while these helped people get the help they need during the crisis, many clients and counselors are itching to get back to face-to-face therapy sessions. But is it safe yet to do so? When and how should counselors start seeing clients face-to-face?
To answer these questions, counselors and their clients will have to make some considerations:
What are the Risks?
Both the clients’ health and the therapist’s health must be taken into consideration. Is anyone at a higher risk for COVID-19? Does the office space allow for sessions that adhere to the CDC’s safety guidelines? Are you and clients comfortable wearing masks during a session and/or is there enough space to remain 6 feet apart?
Another piece to the safety puzzle is your own state’s guidelines. What are those recommendations regarding residents leaving home? Are you in a COVID-19 hotspot?
While telehealth has been a blessing for many, for others there have been technical difficulties, wi-fi lag times, and difficulty finding a private space in their home to hold a session. If you prefer a face-to-face session with your therapist, speak with him or her about their protocols moving forward.
Share any concerns you may have and feel free to ask questions. Right now we all need to communicate with each other and be as transparent as we can be. Doing so, as well as weighing the risks, will help life get back to normal for everyone as safe as possible.