UPDATE Fall 2021: I have reopened the office for services for which in-person sessions are necessary. This includes neurofeedback and eye movement therapies. This change also accommodates younger clients, who tend to do better with in-person sessions. Clients desiring services in the office must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and wear a N95 or KN95 mask in session.
Each of us will decide when we feel confident enough to begin in-person contact with others. Like many, psychotherapists must weigh the risk to their clients, families, and themselves.
As you consider this question for yourself, the article in the link below will be very useful:
In his article, Erin Bromage has given a sobering, detailed analysis of the primary ways that people have gotten infected. Some of the main behavioral sources of transmission are toilet flushes, sneezing, coughing, yelling, speaking, and simply breathing. As most are aware and Bromage notes, actions such as touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your face can also transmit the virus.
The most common locations for the transfer of the virus have been in private homes, prisons, religious ceremonies, choirs, indoor sports facilities, and workplaces. Restaurants, parties, and funerals have also been high-risk settings. Curiously, Bromage did not mention hospitals, nursing homes, doctors' offices, and other health care facilities.
Basically, as the work closures are loosened, and we start to venture out more, possibly even resuming in-office activities, you need to look at your environment and make judgments. How many people are here, how much airflow is there around me, and how long will I be in this environment. If you are in an open floor-plan office, you really need critically assess the risk (volume, people, and airflow). If you are in a job that requires face-to-face talking or even worse, yelling, you need to assess the risk.https://erinbromage.wixsite.com/covid19/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them
There is a lot we do not know yet, but it is clear that the risk of contracting COVID-19 will be on-going. For many of my clients and their families, this risk could be life-ending.
I do not believe we will be able to meet safely in an enclosed office for many more months.
It is possible that some therapists will opt for providing talk therapy in outdoor sessions, such as while walking in a park. I will be considering the use of outdoor sessions, although that would require additional safeguards for safety and privacy.
The good news is that teletherapy via video-conferencing is possible and works very well with most forms of psychotherapy. I will continue offering teletherapy.
Neurofeedback conducted in the office with both therapist and client present will likely be impossible for an extended period of time. Clients who wish to purchase or rent a neurofeedback system will be able to do neurofeedback in their own homes with my supervision via video conferencing.
I hope that you and your family are safe and remain healthy. If you, like many of us, have lost family members to COVID-19, I am deeply sorry for your loss. If you have suffered with COVID-19, my heart goes out to you and I wish you a speedy and full recovery.