This article briefly discusses and analyses the intersection of the social psychology hypothesis of therapeutic holding and the affective atmospheres of telepsychology during the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic. This article states the situation of Australia's mental health sector during the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic; furthermore, various ways have also been discussed in this article on how the Australian psychologists used telepsychology to maintain therapeutic holding spaces over teleconferencing platforms during the global pandemic situation.
Objectives of the project
During the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic situation, the usage of telehealth services was in effect in Australia for offering psychological therapy also referred to as 'telepsychology' to its clients or patients. Therefore, Australian psychologists found out several ways to maintain therapeutic holding spaces over teleconferencing to check on their clients in this research paper. , the significant objectives of the project discussed in this article are mentioned below:
- Therapeutic holding spaces and containment: The main role of therapists is to provide safe holding spaces for their patients or clients so that they can work and recognize the disclosure of their true self.
- More-than-human theory and the effective atmosphere of telepsychology: This is a theoretical point of view that can strengthen the understanding of the relational ingredients of telehealth psychology (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021).
- Reading body language over teleconferencing platforms: An effort is necessary from both the clients and therapists to ascertain what has worked in this teleconferencing platform.
- Implementation of different effective and relational strategies: During the therapy sessions, therapists took note that there was a change in the facial and body gestures of their clients. Therefore, different effective and relational strategies were introduced in online therapy sessions (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021).
The kinds of justification the author offers for undertaking the research
After studying the research the authors, Leanne Downing and Deborah Lupton tried to state the condition of Australia's mental healthcare services during the Covid-19 global pandemic in which the therapy sessions were conducted through online therapy sessions and also through teleconferencing. Below mentioned are a few justifications made by the authors mentioned in the article:
Contamination: The chances of being infected by the virus were highly probable between the clients and the therapists while conducting sessions at medical facilities, therefore it was a need to maintain physical distancing, hand sanitization, etc. from each other to avoid any kind of contamination (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021).
Finding new strategies: Implementation of several strategies to enhance the therapy sessions conducted by the Australian Mental Healthcare services to continue the progress of the mental health conditions of the clients.
Finding private space: While conducting therapy sessions both client and the therapist required a larger space to continue the treatment, but due to worldwide lockdown both of them had to continue to operate from home (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021). This became a worrying sign for both of them as it was quite difficult to conduct therapy sessions because they were being distracted by their family members.
Discuss the methods used – this includes both data collection and data analysis.
There were several methods used for conducting online therapy sessions by the therapists for enhancing the overall progress of their clients, below are a few methods being used which were mentioned in the article:
Tele-psychology and online therapy sessions: The Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that signified that after the occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic, double the number of people reported feeling anxiety most of the time (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021). Furthermore, research was conducted regarding the mental health effects of Covid-19 on the whole population of Australia, in which it was found that thoughts of self-harm, depression, etc. have doubled in Covid-19 affected areas. Therefore, the government authorities decided to provide mental therapy to its population through telepsychology and online therapies.
Government-funded telehealth psychology programs: The mental health care system of Australia recorded a huge rise in teleconferencing bookings, with 460,000 mental health care consults which were being conducted online between March to May 2020, which represents almost 52% of the total Australian mental health consults during the lockdown (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021). Therefore, the Australian Federal Government decided to add telehealth psychology programs to its nationally-funded medicare system.
Discuss the outcomes of the research project
After assessing the various ways to offer mental health-care services in this article, there are several outcomes from the project which is mentioned below:
Ease of providing therapies to clients: The therapists were providing regular mental therapies to their clients with the help of online therapies and teleconferencing, which enhanced the continuous progress of the clients (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021). Therapists were easily available over the phone whenever their service was required from their clients or patients.
Transgress in the holding space: During online therapy sessions, the therapists noticed and reported that there was a change in facial and body gesturing during those telehealth sessions. Furthermore, the therapists also reported that many clients were having trouble accessing the online therapy sessions; clients who were new to this did not have a suitable or private place for the therapy sessions (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021). Therefore, observations of therapies around holding places and therapy effectiveness were less favourable for their clients. Clients were often being interrupted by their family members while receiving therapy sessions from home, which disrupted therapy sessions for both therapist and the client.
Discuss the overall strengths and limitations of the project.
Due to the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic situation, the mental healthcare sector came down to a halt; however several initiatives have been taken to tackle the situation. The mental healthcare sector of Australia decided and guided psychologists to assess their clients or patients through teleconferencing which will help in enhancing the progression of the mental health condition. Below are a few strengths and limitations of this project which were mentioned in the article:
Strengths: The major strength of telehealth services is that the mental healthcare team can help and check on their clients whenever possible via teleconferencing, furthermore this helps them to continue the progress of the mental health conditions of their patients without any barriers despite being in a lockdown situation (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021). Both the parties can interact with each other whenever possible, therefore it is essential for the mental health of the clients or patients.
Limitations: Despite all the strengths mentioned above, there are a few limitations of this project as well, not every patient is well equipped with the requirements needed for online therapies and teleconferencing and this can limit the number of clients to work on. Furthermore, the client and therapists are facing difficulties in understanding each other through online therapies and it is taking a lot of time to operate properly (Downing, Marriott, & Lupton, 2021).
After briefly discussing and analysing the article it was found that during the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic scenario, the psychologists created numerous ways such as telepsychology to deal with their patients over the phone due to the lockdown. However, many psychologists reported that they had to re-evaluate how to create interactive and meaningful interactions with their clients or patients through teleconferencing due to the absence of consultation rooms where the understanding and trust between both the parties used to take place before the pandemic.
Downing, L., Marriott, H., & Lupton, D. (2021). "'Ninja' levels of focus". therapeutic holding environments and the affective atmospheres of telepsychology during the COVID-19 pandemic , 1-19.