Field Notes: COVID-19 and the Provision of Psychological Services
The second positive challenge yields somewhat different alignment among the three populations. Both the North American and Asian populations indicated that many of their clients have found hope, empowerment and/or new vision of the future in the midst of COVID-19 challenges. 63% of the North American respondents rated this opportunity for hope as “often” present and 10% rated this opportunity as “predominant.” A somewhat smaller percent (35%) of the Asians rated hope as “often” present and 13% rated it as “predominant.” In this case, like the North American and Asian respondents, 50% of the Israeli respondents rated hope as “often” present; however, none of the Israeli respondents indicated that hope was predominant.
Impact on Services being Offered
As in the case of their client’s experiences, our respondents from the three populations did not differ much regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the services they render. First, some of the North American and Israeli respondents report seeing more clients, whereas very few of the Asian respondents reported an increase. At the same time, some of the North American respondents reported a decrease in clients served, whereas there were very few Israeli or Asian respondents who reported a decrease. There seems to have been more volatility among the North American respondents regarding number of clients seen than was the case among the other two populations.
Of the other elements of professional practice impacted by COVID-19, there was only one other area in which there were some national differences – but two areas in which there were several large and interesting differences. The first of these areas concerned type of problem being brought by the clients being served. The North American respondents offered rather diverse perspectives in this area. Almost 30% of the respondents were to be found in each of three rating categories (not at all, mildly and moderately). Even the highest rating categories (“highly’) received 13% of the responses. The ratings in this area for the other two national groups tended to cluster in “mildly” and “moderately” for the Israelis and “mildly” for the Asian respondents.
The other two areas where there were differences offers some interesting (if preliminary) portraits. On the one hand, the Israeli and Asian respondents believed that they were no less effective in their work than before the COVID-19 era. For the Israeli respondents, it was a unanimous rating. 100% indicated that they were no less effective. Almost as many North Americans (80%) said they were no less effective, with only 10% indicating that they were mildly less effective and less than 10% indicting that they were moderately or highly less effective. The Asian respondents were not quite as confident regarding their effectiveness. Their ratings were quite dispersed. 50% indicated that they were no less effective, while 25% indicated that they were mildly less effective and 12% indicating that they were either moderately or highly less effective.
When asked to indicate if they had become more effective as a result of the virus, Many of the Israeli respondents indicated that they become more effective. 33% indicated that they became highly more effective, while 17% indicated that they became moderately more effective, 33% indicated that they had become mildly more effective, and only 17% suggested that there were no changes. By contrast, all the Asian respondents indicated that there were either no changes in their level of increased effectiveness (29%) or only mildly greater effectiveness (a robust 71% of the respondents). There were no ratings of moderate or higher effectiveness among the Asian respondents.