Coronavirus Information for Providers

 

As the global pandemic continues, we will be updating this page with the best information for you and your patients so that providing the necessary care is done safely and responsibly.

A group of APsaA members and outside consultants have compiled and curated information for adapting one's practice to full-time telehealth as well as recommendations for resuming in-person sessions when cases are lower in your regions.

On this page:

I.     Returning to In-Person Treatment

II.    Converting to Telehealth

III.   Resources for Support and Colleagueship

IV.   Resource Center for Psychoanalytic Education during the Pandemic

V.    Managing Covid Anxiety

 

I.    RETURNING TO IN-PERSON TREATMENT

Changing from working in-person to working via video or phone was difficult for patients and analysts. Having to do it overnight, with little or no preparation, made it even harder. However, it was a crisis, so we rose to the challenge and adapted. Most of us thought it wouldn't last long. Now that the terrifying sprint has become a depressing marathon, the question has become: When can we get back to normal? 

Read: Returning to In-Person Treatment During COVID-19 - If, When, and How

Read: Report from "Wishes, Fears, and Risks When Returning - or not - to The Office" Town Hall

 

II. CONVERTING TO TELEHEALTH

We will be sharing resources reflecting an evolving understanding of best practices for issues such as switching clients to video or audio-only sessions, making remote treatments work, regulatory and licensure concerns, and the rapidly shifting insurance landscape.  

Getting Started with Remote Treatments

Whether one has significant or no experience, or somewhere in between, providing psychoanalytic care with telehealth tools during the COVID-19 crisis is unique. With little or no time to transition treatments, many have been forced by the pandemic to move their entire practice online, often overnight. The APsaA COVID-19 Advisory Team has been creating and curating documents we believe can help in this historically unique and highly stressful time. Hopefully, these documents will make it easier for you to find the information you need as you navigate these difficult times. Please feel free to adapt whatever you find to the unique needs of your situation, sensibilities, and practice. 

An additional presentation discusses discusses the similarities and differences between being in person and on screen or phone as well as concepts and strategies to help in these trying times. All clinical material has been disguised and permission granted to preserve confidentiality.

WATCH: Emergency Conversion to Tele-treatment: Making it work

 

Treating Children, Adolescents, Families, and Couples:

 

A Note about Regulatory and Insurance Issues

The APsaA COVID-19 Advisory Team offers some suggestions for regulatory and insurance issues. Keep in mind information regarding regulations, insurance, and waivers during this difficult time are changing, sometimes on a daily basis. This document will be updated as new (and better) information emerges.

APsaA's Advocacy Department conducted a webinar on April 29 discussing, advocacy, practice and regulatory issues. You can view the presentation here and download the powerpoint slides. Powers Law Firm, APsaA's political strategy firm also created these FAQs to address many of your questions.

APsaA has called on Congress to extend emergency waivers for telehealth coverage in public programs and private insurance during this worldwide pandemic. APsaA has also joined 45 National Mental Health Organizations in urging Congress to provide temporary statutory authority to Dept. of Labor to allow that agency to ensure all ERISA plans cover telehealth services, including mental health and addiction treatment. You can read this letter here. We also signed a second Mental Health Liaison Group letter that was originated by our colleagues at PsiAN which you can read here. For additional resources from Powers click here.

III.    RESOURCES FOR PEER SUPPORT & COLLEAGUESHIP

APsaA has created a broadcast-only listserv to share relevant information about coping with the current crisis with whoever might be interested or find the information useful. This is open to all who may be interested and is not a discussion list. You can join the list by sending an otherwise blank email to COVID-19-join@list.apsa.org. Here is the Welcome Message to the list posted by the co-chairs of the COVID-19 Advisory Team.

APsaA has offered peer consultation groups open to any licensed mental health professional who identifies as being part of the psychoanalytic community. No groups are currently accepting new members. Should another group of groups be launched, announcements will be posted on the broadcast-only COVID-19 broadcast list (see paragraph above for how you can join) and posted here.

In November, 2020 the Covid-19 Advisory Team launched the APsaA Pen Pal Project to provide a pleasant, fun “analog” experience for frontline mental health workers who identify as psychoanalysts and dynamic psychotherapists. Click here for more information and here is a link to the registration page if you want to participate.

 

IV.   PSYCHOANALYTIC EDUCATION DURING THE PANDEMIC

An unavoidable reality is that almost all psychoanalytic education is currently being done online. We’re all learning that optimizing distance education is more complicated than just holding a class on a screen. To help colleagues teach and learn online, the Covid-19 Advisory Team is gathering resources that can help us with the online education learning curve. 

 

V.    MANAGING ANXIETY

Here are some tips for managing anxieties by Salman Akhtar that was shared on the COVID-19 broadcast list by the co-chairs of the COVID-19 Advisory Team

Working from home now? Probably. Humorous and helpful advice from The Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes on how to WFH (as it is now called).

 

 

APsaA has given four seminars on "Going Online in the Time of COVID-19". The series gives guidelines for switching to online therapy and analysis, the scope and probable problems of this mass crisis over times, and what to think about in teaching and supervising online. 

WATCH: