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    Psychotherapists’ experience of the transition to Telepsychotherapy amidst COVID-19 in India

    Emran, A. and Smith, Jonathan A. and Iqbal, N. (2023) Psychotherapists’ experience of the transition to Telepsychotherapy amidst COVID-19 in India. Counselling Psychology Quarterly 36 (2), pp. 297-320. ISSN 0951-5070.

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    Objective: Since the onset of COVID-19, the provision of psychotherapy services has shifted online. Thus, telepsychotherapy has been the focus of much research to document therapists' experiences; however, it has been mainly quantitative. In the Indian context, no known empirical research has focused on the implications of this transition on psychotherapists. Therefore, the present paper presents an in-depth idiographic study exploring psychotherapists' experiences in India, who had to transition to telepsychotherapy rapidly. Method: Ten novice psychotherapists providing clinical services virtually were individually interviewed. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: The main themes that emerged from the analysis were: negative impact on therapeutic process, detrimental effect on personal and professional self, positive impact of telepsychotherapy for therapist and, strategies for helping the adjustment to telepsychotherapy practice. Conclusion: The idiographic and psychological focus enabled a detailed exploration of the profound impact the sudden transition had on novice psychotherapists’ work with clients and their self-efficacy. Despite contextual constraints faced by the psychotherapy profession in India, the participants demonstrated creative ways of working around the challenges encountered during telepsychotherapy. Nonetheless, their experiences highlight the need to initiate training programs in telepsychotherapy. The findings are considered in relation to extant literature and provide fertile ground for novice practitioners to engage in thinking about their own telepsychotherapy use.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): psychotherapists, telepsychotherapy, interpretative phenomenological analysis, subjective experiences, India, COVID-19
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Jonathan Smith
    Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2022 10:20
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:18


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