Covid-19 protocol for in-person counselling – individuals and couples
Substantial evidence from our Government and several academic and learned bodies, points to increased mental health incidents during the current pandemic. Under current lockdown rules the Government makes allowance for face-to-face meetings of a medical nature.
Mental health and wellbeing have suffered during each lockdown, according to the UCL COVID-19 Social Study. Anxiety and depression levels are now consistently higher than pre-pandemic averages. These findings have been endorsed by the Government in its latest infection survey (February 2021).
Having carefully consulted this survey and my professional counselling body, BACP, I have adopted the supported view that those whose mental health or wellbeing is being adversely affected by current and previous lockdowns are entitled to seek in-person psychotherapy/counselling where online methods feel insufficient.
I employ a Covid-19 secure protocol (see below) and have had my first Covid-19 vaccination. However, any client attending my practice in-person should do so on the understanding that this is at their own risk. I have professional indemnity insurance for all standard unforeseen/unwanted outcomes.
In-person clients agree to arrive at my premises and ring the doorbell to signal they have arrived. The door will be unlocked, though closed, and they should let themselves in and proceed upstairs to my therapy room. I stand away from the door until they are seated and maintain a 2m distance. I do not wear a mask as standard, as I have found this tends to limit easy communication however, I respect your right to wear one and, in such cases, will reciprocate out of respect. At the end of the session I ask clients to make their own way out and close the door behind them. After each session I disinfect all contact points. During the session I keep the window and door of the therapy room open. I provide alcohol hand sanitiser inside the door to the outside and inside my therapy room.