I hope those who work in the field are thinking the way Aaron is:
“Rather than seeing this as a stop-gap until psychotherapy can return to the status quo, therapists should instead see it as an opportunity to rethink the delivery of psychological services all together.”
Most of what we consider “therapy” has been around for over a century now. You go to an office, meet for 50 minutes with a therapist, come back at another date to do it again. There’s value in that, don’t get me wrong. The predictability, the face to face interaction, the relationship that is built between therapist and client, etc. Those are important, but that process can, and does, leave out a lot of people. People who don’t have a therapist nearby, can’t get away for that trip to the office during office hours, or people who would benefit from shorter, more frequent interactions, don’t really fit with the therapy model, and sadly, often don’t get help.
We have technology that will help meet those people where they are. What we don’t have is a large provider base of people skilled in using it to help.
On the other hand, because of quarantine, a lot of therapists are now getting a crash course in those skills. It would be a shame to then toss them aside once this is over instead of figuring out how to use them to provide better, more accessible, services.
We have needed new ways of doing that. This should give us some answers as to what works and what doesn’t very quickly. Let’s adapt some of the ones that work, and make help available to more people, right?