COVID-19 presented rapid challenges to usual practice within mental health services. Despite the suspension of face-to-face psychotherapy, as a group we felt compelled to adapt so that our relationships with patients could continue. This article documents some of the challenges and opportunities faced by our group. We use collaborative writing as a method of inquiry, informed by a phenomenological approach. Each of the six therapists in the group and the supervisor wrote a freestyle personal reflection; when these reflections were viewed together, noticeable themes emerged which bear relevance to future practice. We present here anonymised vignettes (excerpts from therapists’ reflections) under thematic headings, to bring to life the collaboratively written discussions that follow. These include important moments related to the transition from face-to-face practice, and new perspectives on beginnings and endings in therapy. We highlight the power of holding onto hope for those that we work alongside, of advocating for the importance of these relationships, and of the vital role played by regular supervision meetings. The pandemic has prompted us to question our way of working and has shown us new ways to be flexible in the future. We invite others to reflect on whether they relate to our experiences or have different perspectives on the delivery of psychotherapy during such unpredictable times.
psychotherapy, medical education, psychiatry, collaborative writing
We would like to thank all of the people with whom we work, from whom we are constantly learning. We would also like to thank Katrina Plumb, who has kindly allowed us to quote her words in this paper.
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Recommended APA Citation
Hall, K., Pitt, A., Pope, E., Goddard, A., Howe, E., Upton, S., & Tsapas, T. (2022). What Was It Like to Deliver Psychotherapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic? Understanding Therapists’ Perspectives Using a Phenomenological Collaborative Writing Approach. The Qualitative Report, 27(1), 131-142. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5241