Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Delivery of Psychotherapy & Counselling Practices in Urban India
Name of the Research Paper: An Exploratory Study on the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Delivery of Psychotherapy and Counselling Practices in Urban India
Issued Date: 11.03.2022
Published Date: 12.03.2022
Author Affiliations: Samindara Sawant
Co-Author Affiliations: Shriya Bhat
The present exploratory research aimed to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychotherapy and counselling practices in the city of Mumbai. While several studies on the changes in mental healthcare delivery have been conducted globally, few studies have been done in India. This current study attempts to understand the shifts that psychologists and counsellors in Mumbai have made to their own therapy practice in the light of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. A total of 43 psychologists responded to an online survey sent across through Google Forms. Results were consistent with global trends that show that a vast majority of psychologists have moved their practices online, and are now delivering therapy remotely, rather than in-person. 88.4% of psychologists reported having moved to online practice either partially or completely, while 90.7% participants reported that they would continue with online practice after the pandemic had abated as well. While participants have reported several challenges in the way therapy is delivered, most have adapted to the online format and were evolving newer and better ways to deliver sessions online. The findings point toward deep, lasting changes in the delivery of mental health services in India, with the potential for far greater access and reach, as the current trend of remote sessions makes therapy available to individuals who may not have direct access to a therapist. While the study is exploratory in nature, it generates several pointers for further, detailed research, so as to better understand how psychotherapy services are now being delivered in urban India.
Tele Mental Health, Online Therapy, Mental Health Practices in the Pandemic, COVID 19 and Mental Health