How does COVID-19 effect therapy? (Updated 03/03/2022)
Therapy is a unique business. Many people desire to be in the office with their therapist. They believe that being present in the office provides more ability to have connection and emotional understanding. COVID-19 has changed much about what people are doing on a daily basis, especially as therapists.
Since 2020, therapists have become more proficient in the digital world. Most therapist are still doing telehealth, and some are still doing only telehealth. However, much has changed since 2020 on our knowledge and understanding of the spread of COVID-19 and the treatment of COVID-19.
Over the past year, many counselors have opened back up there doors with some safety precautions. Going by the protocols in place, a safe environment for both the therapist and the client can be provided. I will state my current protocols below.
I do encourage people to continue to use telehealth services as they provide an ethical, efficient, convenient, safe, and fast way to contact your therapist. However, if you desire in-person, my standards have changed.
What are we doing to protect clients if an in-person session is held?
My goal is to protect all clients and be helpful. If virtual counseling is possible, I prefer to do virtual counseling due to the efficient and convenient nature of the digital world. However, if you request an in-person session or need to be seen in my office due to other circumstances, my policy is that you are agreeing to the risks of in-person counseling, which would include the possibility of being exposed to COVID-19, and you understand and accept those risks.
The precautions I provide at my office are: the ability to wash and sanitize your hands when you enter the office and at anytime you please, the opportunity and availability to wear facemasks at your request (I do keep some in the office). If you do not request these things, you are agreeing that you are okay with the risks and are assuming the responsibility for any and all possible results of requesting in-person counseling.
I will not discriminate and turn down people who have not had a vaccine.
At this time, when you come to my office I request that you stay in your car until the time of the session. I will call you to come in when I am ready for you.
If you desire, I am okay with you wearing a mask during our session. I also will wear a mask if you request me to. Masks may cause their to be some difficulties in communication, but precaution can be taken if needed.
I further attempt to keep the air moving in the office as regularly as possible. I will open all windows if requested, although it may become warm or cold in the office. I attempt to wipe down surfaces when people leave after each in-person session. Further, I can accommodate doing sessions outside, if desired. This may decrease the possibility of privacy, but will decrease the risk of exposure to a virus.
How do I accept payment and handle paperwork?
All payment and paperwork are handled through the client portal without the need to transfer documents or payments by hand. If you prefer to pay with your card in office, you will need to read your card number to me. I do have the capability to take other forms of payment (check, cash).
When should I cancel my session?
PLEASE, if you are sick, call me and leave a voicemail that you are cancelling. It would be safer for both of us to reschedule. If you have cold symptoms (ie, coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, etc), please let me know so we can reschedule you.
I do provide Kleenex for clients. If you feel the urge to sneeze or cough, please use a Kleenex and sneeze or cough into the Kleenex and turn away from others. Then, please wash your hands. If you have any questions, please call my office at 706-955-0230. If you would like to schedule an appointment you can all call or schedule online.
Brandon Coussens, LMFT
- Address3540 Wheeler Rd., Ste. 110
Augusta, GA 30909