Counsellors and psychotherapists can be considered part of Social Care, which is an essential service when Government and NPHET protocols and guidance on social distancing are followed. The IACP have published guidelines for a return to face to face work for therapists and clients.
The Return to Work Safely Protocol has been published giving guidance to employers and service providers in terms of providing the safest possible environment in light of the continued presence of Covid 19 in our daily lives as we try to reopen business and society.
Please note the following circumstances whereby you should NOT ATTEND and SHOULD contact your therapist to seek further advice. There will be no charge for short notice cancellations and a video session alternative is available.
- Where you are over 60 years old or have underlying health issues of concern.
- If you have developed even mild symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID 19.
- If you have had first-hand contact with an individual who is diagnosed with COVID 19 or has even mild symptoms of COVID 19.
- If you have been advised to self-isolate (for example if just arrived in the country).
A letter can be provided to clients who want to attend therapy but are concerned about Garda checkpoints and travel restrictions. We can confirm the Garda have had no issue with clients travelling to look after their mental health.
We have an ethical duty to prevent harm to clients and it’s important to strike a balance between taking appropriate precautions such as social distancing and self isolation while considering vulnerable clients’ needs.
In the context of a global pandemic an assessment of the suitability of face to face therapy has to be looked at differently than would traditionally be the case.
This is something that can be explored between client & therapist and we are happy to handle any questions on the above by phone or email .
The BACP recommends considering the below
- The client’s need and safety
- Therapist’s need and safety
- The context of the service
- Whether other options are possible and the ethical and practical risks of any decision
- The known risk factors of age and any pre-existing health conditions for both yourself and your client (or people in regular close contact with client or therapist)
- Clients with particular needs who may not be able to engage using online platforms.
We direct clients who need immediate support to the resources at the below links which includes services that run round the clock phone support. (these are in addition to your local GP & out of hours doctor service)
Some information on different mental health resources provided by the HSE
Mind the Frontline a new mental health resource for frontline healthcare staff