Doing remote systemic psychotherapy during a pandemic – learning from a speedy Quality Improvement Project

Helps, Sarah (2020) Doing remote systemic psychotherapy during a pandemic – learning from a speedy Quality Improvement Project. Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice, 3 (1). ISSN 2516-0052 Full text available

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Abstract

This paper describes some findings from a rapid quality improvement project exploring clinician views about the delivery of remote systemic psychotherapy since the Covid-19 induced UK lockdown. Remote systemic psychotherapy is a practice response based on the need to remain physically distant from people and involves “meeting” via video link rather than in person. Written responses were gathered from early-adopter clinicians in one UK NHS trust, reflecting on their experiences of convening remote systemic psychotherapy sessions during March and April 2020. Overall, findings suggest that that remote systemic psychotherapy has been acceptable, effective and indeed welcomed by clinicians, within the pandemic context. Using a diffractive thematic analysis, four themes were constructed from clinician responses: practical and boundary issues need careful attention; the conversational flow of remote systemic psychotherapy sessions is different to that during in-person sessions; it is necessary to do things differently with words and bodies; the practice of creating meaningful dialogical communication when separated by screens is hard. Tentative practice recommendations are provided.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Systemic Psychotherapy, Remote Psychotherapy, COVID-19
Subjects: Human Psychological Processes > Strange Environment/Situation
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Systemic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Special Units
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2264

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