Field Notes: COVID-19 and the Provision of Psychological Services

Field Notes: COVID-19 and the Provision of Psychological Services

We turn now to the interesting question regarding shifts in the type of problem being addressed by our respondents. As one might expect, the individual psychotherapy and group psychotherapy respondents provided similar ratings. There was a small percent of respondents from these two service areas who indicated that there was a “high” level of change (9% for individual and 15% for group). About a third (30-31%) of these respondents indicated that there was a “moderate” amount of change regarding type of problem being addressed. None of the group psychotherapy providers and only 13% of the individual psychotherapy providers indicated no change, whereas 54% of the group psychotherapists and 49% of the individual psychotherapists indicated that there were “mild” changes in type of problem being brought to their office.

We found a somewhat different pattern of response for both those providing organizational consultation and training/teaching.  In both cases, there was more even spread of responses across all four rating categories. Among the organizational consultants, 40% indicated no change, 30% represented “mild” change, 20% indicated “moderate” change and 10% indicated “high” levels of change. Similarly, 20% of the training and teaching respondents indicated no change, 36% indicated “mild” change, 32% indicated “moderate” change and 12% indicated “high” levels of change. Apparently, for these latter two groups, the nature of problems being presented by those availing themselves of their services shift quite a bit in some instances, but not much at all in other instances. The world of problems did not seem to be very stable for these two populations.

We turn finally to the critical question of effectiveness. Almost everyone in all four service areas indicated that they were no less effective (75-83%) and no one placed themselves in the “highly” less effective category. However, as in the case of shifts in the problem presented, we find a more dispersed response among the organizational consultants. Whereas none of the group psychotherapists and only 4% of the individual psychotherapists and those doing training/teaching indicated that they were “moderately” less effective, we find that 13% of the organizational consultants placed themselves in the “moderate” category.  Between 13 and 17% of respondents in all four service area populations rated themselves as “mildly” less effective. Thus, we find only the organizational consultants, on occasion, admitted that they are sometimes less effective in their work. Might it be because they are more likely to confront shifting problems in their work?

What about increased effectiveness resulting from the virus? There is some more bad news for the organizational consultants. Many of those providing these consultation services do not consider themselves more effective as a result of the virus.  The responses are somewhat diffuse: 70% of the organizational consultants indicate that they are not more effective, 10% indicate that they are “mildly” more effective and 20% indicated that they are “moderately” more effective. There is an even greater dispersion of ratings by the individual and group therapists. For those providing personal therapy, 41% indicate no change, 32% indicate “mild” increase in effectiveness, 18% indicate “moderate” increase, and 9% indicate “high” levels of increased effectiveness.


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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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