‘Living in a Zoom world’: Survey mapping how COVID-19 is changing family therapy practice in the UK.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, psychological therapies rapidly moved online in mid-2020. The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK (AFT) surveyed the attitudes and practices of systemic therapists in the UK in early October 2020, exploring members’ views and gathered information about ongoing needs. A sample of 312 people were included in a mixed methods analysis. In total, 65% of respondents felt their overall experience of using online video technology professionally was positive, further reflected in responses to two open-ended questions. Detailed thematic analysis revealed that many positive comments were related to the practical advantages of online working, whilst many negative comments were related to technique and the therapeutic relationship. Possible respondent biases are discussed, and the implications of this change in practice are explored. It remains to be seen if this marks the beginning of a more permanent shift in our field as we explore the potential of new technologies.The vast majority of UK systemic therapists felt that their experience of online video technology was positive.They noted many practical advantages but also identified many challenges regarding therapeutic techniques and the therapeutic relationship.Therapists developed a range of creative solutions to maximise the therapeutic opportunities of online video.
Authors: Richard Mc Kenny, Emily Galloghly, Catherine M Porter, Frank R Burbach