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

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

Ratings of the North Americans resided somewhere between the Israelis and Asian. While 6% indicated that they were highly more effective, and 13% indicated that they were moderately more effective, 23% indicated that they were mildly more effective and a robust 58% indicated that they were no more effective. If these differences hold up with better and bigger samples, there might be some important implications. Are the Israelis actually more adaptive—or “agile” (a now popular term)—in responding to new challenges or are they simply more likely to be candid about (or distorting of) their newly acquired skill and expertise. Does the Asian tendency toward modesty win the day and are North American’s also inclined to be hesitant about declaring “victory” too soon?

Impact on the Respondent’s Personal Experience

Some differences were found between the three national populations of respondents regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their personal lives. These differences spread over most of the challenges being rated.

When it comes to increased anxiety, the “never” category reveals some major differences. Approximately the same percent of respondents in each of the three populations indicated that increased anxiety was “often” a concern in their personal life. The percentages varied from 20% Israeli) to 25% (Asian) to 32% (North American). The differences show up in the two lowers rating categories.

There were no Asian respondents indicating that anxiety was never a major concern in their own personal life, whereas the rating of “never” for the North American respondents was 19% regarding their person concern about increased anxiety. It was even more frequently checked (40%) for Israelis. The Asian respondents chose to rate anxiety as “rarely” being of concern rather than being of no concern. 75% of Asian respondents rated increased anxiety as having “rarely” impact on their personal lives, whereas only 45% of the North American respondents and 40% of the Israeli respondents rated increased anxiety at this level. The challenge of increased anxiety seems to have been of some concern for most of the Asians respondents as they faced the COVID-19 challenge in their personal lives—at least as their rating of this concern was compared to those of the North America and Israel respondents.

Things shift when our respondents rate the extent to which increased isolation and/or sense of loneliness becomes a concern. It is the Israeli respondents who frequently rate this as “often” (50%), whereas the Asian respondents rated it “often” only 25% of the time and no North American respondent rated this concern as “often”.  None of the respondents in any of the three populations indicated that concerns about isolation or loneliness had a “major impact.” Similar results were obtained regarding ratings of increased depression. Once again, the Israelis rated depression as “often” be of concern 50% of the time, with North American respondents rating this concern as “often” being present only 22% of the time. This category was never check by Asians, nor did they even check “major impact.” By contrast, 3% of the North American respondents rated depression as having a “major impact”. It should be noted that this was a split vote for the Israeli respondents. Though 50% rated depression as “often” being a concern, the other 50% rated this as never being a concern.

We find a similar split vote among Israeli when it comes to confusion about or loss of a sense of purpose regarding work in the field of psychology. 66% said that this was never a concern, while 33% said this was “often” a concern. By contrast, there was a range of ratings by both North Americans and Asians regarding this challenge. 59% of Americans and 37% of Asians indicated that this was never a concern, while 34% of North Americans and 25% of Asians rated this as “rarely” a concern. 6% of North Americans indicating that confusion and loss of purpose was “often” a concern.  Asians matched the Israelis regarding percentage of respondents (37%) indicating this was “often” a concern.


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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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