Special challenges in psychotherapy continuation and adaption for persons with schizophrenia in the age of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Couns. Psychol. Q.
Coronavirus outbreak created diverse challenges for mental health services in general and to psychotherapy in particular. One of the most prominent of these is the move from delivering psychotherapy in face to face sessions to telephone or internet-based platforms. While this is a challenge to all psychotherapies, this paper examines specific considerations that should be taken into account when doing recovery-oriented integrative psychotherapy with persons with schizophrenia. Based on our clinical experiences conducting trials of psychotherapy with people with schizophrenia in Israel and in the United States, we describe several changes that took place as we were providing psychotherapy at the outbreak of the pandemic. These include general changes in the platform of psychotherapy and in the focus of sessions at both process and content levels. These changes represent both barriers and opportunities for the recovery process. Following a description of these changes we discuss and outline adaptations that are needed for sustaining patient’s sense of their own agency and of the intersubjective nature of the session.