Field Notes: COVID-19 and the Provision of Psychological Services
A similar pattern could be observed with group therapist responses: 31% indicate no change, 38% indicate “mild” increases, 23% indicated “moderately increases, and 8% indicated “high” levels of increased effectiveness. Those providing training and teaching essentially replicate the response pattern of the two therapy groups: 48% indicate no change, 28% indicate “mild” change, 16% rate increased effectiveness as “moderate” and 8% suggest that they have become “highly” more effective as a result of the virus. It seems that there was “good news” for some of the therapists and those doing training and teaching—despite the many challenges being faced by those providing psychological services during the COVID-19 era. There was often less “good news” for those providing organizational consultation services.
Future of Psychological Services Being Provided
Our concluding analyses focus on our respondents’ consideration of future work being done in the aftermath of COVID-19. In general, we found that respondents in the four service areas did not differ very much as they project their work into the future. It is only regarding four considerations that we find much distinction between those providing individual therapy, group therapy, organizational consultation and training/teaching. The first of these points to the use of new strategies. While respondents in all four service areas were most likely to indicate only “a little bit” of shift in strategies (50-52%), there were likely to be “quite a bit” of change in strategies among those doing group therapy (50%). The percentages were a bit lower regarding this rating (“quite a bit”) among those doing individual therapy (30%) or training/teaching (37%).
The organizational consultants were less likely than those in the other three service areas to choose “quite a bit” (20%); however, 10% indicating that they anticipated a major shift (10%) as did 8% of those doing training and teaching. There were also 10% of the organizational consultants who indicated that there not likely to be any shifts. Similarly, 4% of those doing individual therapy and 4% of those doing training/teaching indicated no change, while none of those doing group therapy chose this lowest rating. Thus, we see in this preliminary way, that anticipations regarding new strategies on the part of the organizational consultants (and to a lesser extent the trainer/teachers) were more diffuse than was the case with those doing individual or group therapy. The therapists were likely to introduce some shifts in strategies and in some instances, quite a bit of change in the way they engage in their work.
The second consideration (use of technology) yielded the largest range of responses as a function of service area. The individual therapist, group therapists and trainer/teachers often indicated some rather large shifts toward more use of digital technologies. Among those doing individual therapy, 54% indicated that there would be “quite a bit” of shift, with 38% indicating a major shift. Similar results were found for the group therapists, with 54% indicated that there would be “quite a bit” of shift, with 36% indicating a major shift. Those doing training and teaching didn’t lag very far behind: 40% indicated that there would be “quite a bit” of shift, with 32% indicating a major shift. Only 4% of those doing individual work and 4% of those engaged in training/teaching indicated that would be no changes. 8% of those doing group work indicated that they didn’t see any change regarding the use of technologies.