Currently PACFA, my professional body, considers counselling and therapy an essential service. This allows us to continue practicing in person. While the current situation is good in Canberra we know that things could change at any time. Below is the current response and the future response should cases increase again.
CURRENT RESPONSE (3 September 2020) I am seeing clients in person and by zoom. Clients can choose if they prefer to come in or work by zoom. I ask that you make this decision based on what will be most safe for you, your loved ones and the other people (including me) at my practice.
For those coming in person... What you can expect from me:
I will rub down chairs and door handles with disinfectant wipes between clients.
I will not come to work if I am ill or have any knowledge of being near someone with COVID-19.
I will let you know if I have any reason to suspect that I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.
I will keep a 1.5m distance.
If you want bodywork then we will negotiate distance. For now, as cases are low I am offering bodywork, but this will need to change if cases increase.
You may wear a mask or gloves if that supports your safety.
What I expect from you:
You do not come if ill.
You wash and sanitise your hands before the session. I have sanitiser here.
You do not come if you have any reason to suspect that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.
You inform me if you become ill after a session.
You inform me if you test positive to COVID-19.
FUTURE RESPONSE If the situation worsens I will assess as we go, but it is likely that in addition to the measures listed above:
Bodywork clients will need to provide self-touch to their upper bodies while I work on lower limbs.
Those in a vulnerable category or are in contact with vulnerable people then you may need to shift to zoom sessions.
If I receive directive from PACFA to shift to online sessions, I will follow that advice.
What matters most is that we keep safety first. This is hard with something unseen like a virus. We can't know everything. This means that despite all safety measures there is ALWAYS some risk with face to face sessions. It is up to each of us to do our part to protect ourselves, each other, and those with whom we have contact.
What also matters is that we find ways to continue to do the work. I have worked a lot on zoom and while it is not the same it is still possible and useful for many people.
There is some balance of risk in any decision and many factors play into any decision we make. I ask that we all be:
honest about our health and our contact with others;
true to our needs, fears, hopes and concerns around how we do sessions;