Transitioning to virtual programming amidst COVID-19 outbreak
Couns. Psychol. Q.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many mental health care providers to quickly reorganize their operations and services in an effort to continue serving their clientele while also ensuring the health and safety of their patients and staff. Over the course of five days (beginning 15 March 2020), the McLean OCD Institute at Houston (MOCDI-H) transitioned from providing three levels of care in-person to conducting intensive outpatient and traditional outpatient programming completely online. Through the teamwork of all members of the MOCDI-H staff and in collaboration with our patients and their families, we were able to develop virtual programming and make a smooth transition with minimal disruption to patient care. This article aims to describe how we facilitated our clinical transition in a quick and effective manner and became the first program within the OCD community to transition to teletherapy. An anecdotal exploration of the benefits and challenges experienced for patient care and providers is offered. Future directions and implications associated with the change from in-person sessions to teletherapy are discussed.