Field Notes: COVID-19 and the Provision of Psychological Services
Some of the questions we asked in our survey concern potential changes in the type of psychological services being delivered or way in which these services are provided. We find the greater discrepancies between our three population when we asked them to consider the increased use of technology as a permanent alteration. Many of the Israeli identified major changes regarding the increased use of technologies, whereas the North American respondents were less likely to identify 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 among the Israelis. A point of inquiry would center on several fundamental questions:
* Why did practitioners in some nations and in some service-areas begin to make more extensive use of technology as a result of the pandemic? Who were more likely to make greater use of technologies, what technologies did they begin using, and why did they make this shift?
What about potential changes in the client populations being served? Only in the case of a shift to more personal services were a majority of responses indicative for both the Asian and Israeli practitioners of some change. The pattern of responses regarding a shift to more group work were similar to those for a shift to more personal services. A fairly large percent of both the Asian and Israeli respondents indicated shifting toward group work, while this category was chosen by none of the North American respondents. Though none of our respondents seems to be moving most of their work to organizations (unless they are already organizational consultants), we did find that a few of the North Americans and Asian respondents indicated that this could be a “major shift” for them in the near future as a result of the virus. None of the Israeli respondent anticipate a major shift. Our point of inquiry concerns the presence or absence of shifts in the clients being served.
* Who are the practitioners who undergo major shifts regarding their delivery of personal, group or organizational services given the COVID-19 challenge? and what causes these shifts?
The depth and significance of the lessons offered by our participants invite further research regarding professional and personal insights by practitioners from all over the world. Therefore, our last point of inquiry refers to a qualitative study:
* What are the major insights based of the challenging era of the Covid-19, made by practitioners?
We would like to note that this last point of inquiry refers not only to practitioners in the various fields of psychology, but also to practitioners in other fields as well. The wisdom of the crowd becomes more relevant—and an interdisciplinary inquiry might reveal new understanding of our limiting categorizations and boundaries.