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Anyone in England, UK gone back to in person therapy?

Thread starter #1
Hi all,

I can see that a lot of therapists in some other countries have gone back to in person. But has anyone in England (or any other country in the UK) gone back to in person?

I keep reading the guidelines on the bacp website and it looks like in person is not really happening and not much of a plan to happen.

I haven't asked my T, because: reasons. I'm doing ok with video therapy. I would love to be in the same room as her again some day , but not with a mask on. Although bacp guidelines say visors might do?
 
#2
No and I won't for some time, I don't think. My T's private practice is in London. Neither of us live in London and we've talked about neither of us being up for being back in London for the foreseeable. She'll return sometime, I'm sure, but doesn't seem to be in any rush.

I also have a couple of friends who are counsellors and they are both only doing online/phone sessions for the foreseeable too.

And I know my local NHS taking therapy service have decided not to run any face-to-face sessions until January at the earliest.

It might still be worth asking your T what she's thinking re returning to her workplace and seeing clients face-to-face, just to get a steer on where she's at with it. It's a reasonable conversation to be having at the moment. She might be really clear that she has no intention of going back this year, for instance. Or she may say she wants to go back as soon as her governing body supports that general shift.

The UKCP website still feels to me that they are encouraging their members to continue to work remotely. Depending on a T's set up, I can imagine risk assessments being a bit of a minefield. For example, my T works in a shared building. She has set days in the same room. Other Ts use that room on other days. On the days she is there, she has a number of her clients going in and out of that room. There are also people going in and out of other rooms. There are communal areas – the waiting room and loos. Reliably assessing that risk when you are not involved with lots of other people who are using the building is extremely difficult, I would think. And I don't know how returning to face-to-face work at the moment would work in terms of T's insurance. I would imagine some wouldn't be covered.

And I really wouldn't want to do in-person with us wearing either masks or visors!
 
Thread starter #3
Thanks @barefoot , yeah my T is the same. Hires a room in a shared building in London. It's also the travelling to that building, as well as all the arrangements within the building.

Yeah, I think I need to ask her. I'm in no rush to be in person, but think I will find it hard if I'm not in the same room with her until next year. That's a long time.....
And I wondered if she were to return, she might just see the clients who need in person more and keep those of us who manage video therapy on video. But I'm second guessing.
 
#4
Yes, I guess that’s possible. Because I assume there will need to be more cleaning etc between clients and that they’ll have to space clients out more perhaps to ensure fewer people in the space at any one time so that may mean seeing fewer clients per day than usual.

Actually, in shared spaces, how do they even do that? Unless all the therapists are going to liaise with each other on schedules and stagger their timings (can’t see that happening!) how do you ensure that you don’t have too many people arriving/leaving the building at the same time or all sitting too closely together in a small waiting room?

Anyway - if that happens and she does return and see some clients in person and remain online with others, what’s to stop you from being one of those people who returns? It’s not about you being super needy about it. It sounds like it would just be your preference to not have to wait months without some in person contact.

Or perhaps you could do one in-person session per month and the rest online for instance?

And now I’m just speculating with you! Ha!

I think it’s worth asking her and getting a feel for where she’s at with it. But there may also be some flexible options going forwards to, not just all or nothing for months.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
#6
Yes, I guess that’s possible. Because I assume there will need to be more cleaning etc between clients and that they’ll have to space clients out more perhaps to ensure fewer people in the space at any one time so that may mean seeing fewer clients per day than usual.

Actually, in shared spaces, how do they even do that? Unless all the therapists are going to liaise with each other on schedules and stagger their timings (can’t see that happening!) how do you ensure that you don’t have too many people arriving/leaving the building at the same time or all sitting too closely together in a small waiting room?

Anyway - if that happens and she does return and see some clients in person and remain online with others, what’s to stop you from being one of those people who returns? It’s not about you being super needy about it. It sounds like it would just be your preference to not have to wait months without some in person contact.

Or perhaps you could do one in-person session per month and the rest online for instance?

And now I’m just speculating with you! Ha!

I think it’s worth asking her and getting a feel for where she’s at with it. But there may also be some flexible options going forwards to, not just all or nothing for months.

That comment of spacing clients was very interesting barefoot. Before Covid, I mentioned few times the therapist should truly space out my appt and the last client cause the therapist was always over the hour and I would see the client leaving and walk into a steamy room with hot seat. Yuck! I made few comments and she ignored me. After Covid, our first video, I mentioned again maybe this will make her to add 15 min between me and the client and I even mentioned I do not mind coming 15 min later (in the future when we are back in person)...again she sort of looked at me as if that was part of my controlling manifestation....maybe it was but I am not surprised now most therapists may be forced to wipe the room in between clients.
I am no longer with her because little digs like this had become too frequent.

Sorry this is not about UK but that comment tickled me.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#7
No, both my T and I have been shielding so theoretically could in August but we discussed this in appointment last week and neither of us have much faith in procedure so are remaining in self quarantine beyond the date to see what happens. Personally I MAY decide to expand to meeting a friend or two in outside space w/ social distancing but not inside and I’m glad my therapist has taken this decision. I vastly prefer in person therapy but do not feel it worth health risk. I would be particularly concerned for T’s health but of course her social bubble would increase and put us all at risk .

I feel it’s better to wait and see for a few weeks for those of us who are compromised and / or who can work remotely.
 
#8
@grit 'I would see the client leaving and walk into a steamy room with hot seat. Yuck!'

Yuck indeed!

My T has never been one to space out appointments either. Sessions with her are 60 mins long, which is good because 50 min sessions are quite standard for therapy here. But she has an annoying habit of scheduling back-to-back unless she wants to take a proper more lengthy break in-between. She has never seemed to process the fact that, if she is seeing someone for a session from 1.30pm-2.30pm and has scheduled me for 2.30pm-3.30pm...well...she can't possibly be wrapping up their session and starting mine at the same time 🙄 Invariably, it has always meant she overruns so a session starts late (and then that one overruns too and so on all day) Plus, because she didn't have a gap between people, when you buzzed her door to be let in to the building, you knew you would be interrupting someone else's time (and someone buzzing the door would also interrupt the end of my session) And, yes, sometimes you would meet her other client on the stairs. All of these things were not good - and it always drove me mad why she did things like that.

Funnily enough though, now that we are meeting online, I know that she is leaving 10-15 mins space between clients. I think it's because she is a technophobe and she gets stressed about getting connected so she is allowing herself time in between for technology fails!

Anyway, whatever the reason, I am appreciating that she now puts space between us. I will be intrigued to see what happens when we return to in-person...

Good for you for being firm with your boundaries around not wanting to work that way. It has always been something that has irritated me – not so much for the lateness but more the occasional awkwardness of potential privacy breaches of passing her other client in the hallway. But it was never a big enough thing for me to be a deal breaker about continuing to work with her.

her social bubble would increase and put us all at risk
Yes and this could mean quite a significant number, couldn't it? I'm with you @Mee – exercise caution...wait and see! Especially if online is working ok even if it may not be preferable.
 
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Thread starter #9
What you, @grit and @barefoot say about your T and spacing, makes me feel very lucky with my T. She must space. I only once saw someone leave her session, and they were upset so I wondered if they ran over? And I felt jealous seeing that client! So I'm glad I didn't see her other clients.

@Mee, I met with some friends (indoors) last weekend. It was lovely. I hope you get to (safely) see someone soon.
I agree, the T is as more risk given the people they see.

I would like to see T in person again at some point. But the time will come I'm sure. I haven't asked her in today's session, because I don't want to make a demand. But perhaps I will next week.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#10
What you, @grit and @barefoot say about your T and spacing, makes me feel very lucky with my T. She must space. I only once saw someone leave her session, and they were upset so I wondered if they ran over? And I felt jealous seeing that client! So I'm glad I didn't see her other clients.

@Mee, I met with some friends (indoors) last weekend. It was lovely. I hope you get to (safely) see someone soon.
I agree, the T is as more risk given the people they see.

I would like to see T in person again at some point. But the time will come I'm sure. I haven't asked her in today's session, because I don't want to make a demand. But perhaps I will next week.
I hope I do too, but I wasn’t seeing people very often at all before this so it’s no big shake up for me and I am not feeling sorry for myself! Reclusiveness and agrophoboa have been features of ptsd for me. I do have great sympathy for those who were not reclusive and feel very deprived. I do miss seeing my T .

ironically I actually have more connection right now with DH working from home :/. So I am less isolated - he is away three to five days a week usually. Seeing him every day is fantastic.
 

Pepper360

Policy Enforcement
#12
I've switched to writing therapy at home instead of in person talk therapy. Actually I discovered I like writing much better. It's more natural for me. Talking, I could never really get the words out, especially about trauma stuff.
 
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