Field Notes: COVID-19 and the Provision of Psychological Services
We find the greater discrepancies between our three population when we consider the increased use of technology as a permanent alteration. 83% of the Israeli said that the has been “quite a bit” of change regarding the increased use of technologies, and the remaining 17% said that there is a “major shift” toward the greater use of technologies. None of the Israeli respondents checked one of the two lower categories. While both the North American and Asia respondents indicated that they are likely to make increased use of technology in their work, neither the Asian nor North American ratings were as high overall as the Israelis. 50% of the Asian and 44% of the North American respondents indicted “quite a bit” of change, while 38% of Asians and 25% of North Americans indicated that they are likely to see a “major shift” regarding their use of technologies.
The percentages indicating a “major shift” were higher for the Asians and North Americans than for the Israelis; however, there were also 13% of the Asians and 3% of the North Americans who indicated that changes in the use of technologies were “not at all” likely. Furthermore, 28% of the North American respondents indicated only “a little bit” of change in the use of technologies. Thus, while the technology-shifts are becoming a reality for many professionals providing psychological services in all three regions of the world, the shift seems to be most pronounced for the Israelis.
When it comes to financial matters, we see a slight tendency overall for North Americans to begin charging more for their services. While most respondents in all three populations indicate no change or little change in what they charge, 22% of North American respondents indicated that they would charge “a little bit” more whereas none of the Asian or Israeli respondents checked this category, Conversely, 33% of the Israelis and 13% of the Asians indicated that they would charge “quite a bit” more (compared to only 6% of the North Americans checking this “quite a bit” category).
The final set of questions regarding future directions concerned the potential shift in the nature of psychological services being offered. Three types of service were identified: personal services (individual client), group services and organizational services. Results were often polarized, though in general respondents indicated that there were going to be no shifts (ranging from 59% to 83%). Only in the case of a shift to more personal services were a majority of responses for both the Asian and Israeli respondents ranging from “a little bit” of shifting to “quite a bit” of shifting. While most of the Israeli respondents indicated “a little bit” of change (67%), another 17% indicated “quite a bit” of change toward more personal services. Similarly, 50% of the Asian respondents indicated “a little bit” of change, and 13% indicated “quite a bit” of change. The percentages were lower for the North American respondents with regard to “a little bit” of change (25%), but about the same for “quite a bit” of change (13%).
The pattern of responses regarding a shift to more group work was similar to those for a shift to more personal services. A fairly large percent of both the Asian (25%) and Israeli (17%) respondents indicated that there could be “quite a bit” of shifting toward group work, while this category was chosen by none of the North American respondents. The percentages rating the group shift as “a little bit” were about the same for all three populations: Asian (13%), North American (28%) and Israeli (33%). It is interesting to note that 9% of the North American respondents indicated that there could be “major shift” for them in moving toward more group work.
In the case of shifting toward more work in organizations, there were 23% of the North Americans and 25% of the Asians who indicated that there would be “a bit of” a shift for them, while none of the Israeli respondents chose this category. On the other hand, 17% of the Israeli respondents anticipated “quite a bit” of change toward more organizational work (as did 3% of the North Americans). Perhaps, most importantly, we find that 6% of the North Americans and 13% of the Asian respondents indicated that this could be a “major shift” for them. None of the Israeli respondent anticipate a major shift.