Psychotherapy during social isolation caused by COVID-19 – therapists’ and clients’ perspectives
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Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Filozoficzny, Instytut Pedagogiki, Zakład Pedagogiki Społecznej i Andragogiki
Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Zarządzania i Komunikacji Społecznej, Instytut Psychologii Stosowanej
Julia Anna Kluzowicz   

Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Filozoficzny, Instytut Pedagogiki, Zakład Pedagogiki Społecznej i Andragogiki
Submission date: 2020-08-17
Final revision date: 2021-01-14
Acceptance date: 2021-03-22
Publication date: 2021-06-15
Psychoter 2021;196(1):5–31
The article presents the results of a survey conducted on a group of 155 respondents — 54 psychotherapists and 101 psychotherapy clients. The subject of the study was their attitude towards remote psychotherapy in a situation of social isolation, which forced them to conduct therapy sessions remotely. The study also looked at the perception of difficulties and advantages of remote psychotherapy and changes in the therapist-client contact in such therapy.

The research was conducted in the form of an online questionnaire sent by e-mail and posted on the profiles of thematic groups on the Facebook platform.

The vast majority of respondents continued psychotherapy during social isolation, despite the fact that most of them had not had contact with this form of therapeutic work before. The most frequently chosen method of holding sessions by both psychotherapists and clients was contact via an audio-video connection, less often by telephone. The greatest difficulty indicated in both of these forms was the lack of direct contact with the interlocutor. However, psychotherapists pointed out that remote psychotherapy may be more convenient for the client than traditionally conducted in direct contact. Most of the respondents agreed with the statement that during social isolation they became convinced about remote psychotherapy, although they do not consider it to be a better form than the traditional one.

Social isolation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus forced a sudden change in the form of psychotherapeutic work in Poland, for which most of its participants were not prepared. The results showing the most important limitations and advantages of remote psychotherapy may be a guide to educating future generations of psychotherapists, who — as the current situation shows — must also be prepared for the form of remote assistance.