Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Important Practice Recommendations and Update on Communications with the Department of Health and CMO

We hope this communication finds you all safe and well. We face worrying and uncertain times ahead in dealing with the impact of Covid-19. We are acutely aware of the concerns you have in relation to your practices not only with regard to your own safety but also that of your clients and the wider community.

The main concern relates to the safety of continuing with face-to-face sessions with clients and supervisors. Many of you have taken the decision to continue with your services by alternative means i.e. Tele-counselling/psychotherapy and on-line counselling/psychotherapy. We have issued a number of communications to you advising you all to abide by the guidance that is being provided by the HSE and the HSPC. We have also provided links to guidelines and training supports – in the CPD Portal in our Members Area – to assist in the transition to working via telephone and on-line. In addition, we have received queries with confidentiality concerns about how to proceed should you be requested to provide details of clients for contact tracing, please follow this link for advice from the Data Protection Commissioner in this regard.

The FAQs issued to you all on Friday evening will be updated as the situation evolves and changes so please ensure you check your email on a regular basis, check iacp.ie, specifically our FAQ section for updates and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

We understand that the decision to discontinue face-to-face sessions is not an easy one and that there are many factors to consider: the client's needs and safety, your need and safety, and the alternatives that can be practically, ethically, and safely applied. Members are seeking a definitive answer but due to a range of factors, we are not in a position to give a single answer that will be applicable in every case.

We have sought official advice on this issue and have sent an urgent communication to the Minister for Health and Chief Medical Officer seeking clarification and direction for our members as to whether they can safely proceed with face-to-face client sessions.

Until such time as we receive clear instruction and direction from the Minister for Health, we are recommending that in consultation with your clients you explore with them options to transition to telephone or online (where possible) sessions.

If you are able to offer online or telephone counselling/psychotherapy and you are an Accredited Member listed within our online directory, we would recommend that you update your profile to reflect this.

Log into the Members Area, then click 'Edit Your Profile'. Scroll down to the 'For whom is your service provided' section. Here you can tick either Online Counselling or Telephone Counselling or both. Finally, scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'Save'.

If you have forgotten or do not have your login details, please email iacp@iacp.ie. We are receiving a high volume of emails looking for this information so we would ask for your patience while the Member Care Team, work through them.

For those of you and your clients who opt to continue to conduct face-to-face sessions, we strongly advise that you strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the HSE and HSPC.

We know that these are challenging times for our members and their clients. Please be assured that we are doing everything in our power to remain informed and proactive during this time. We would urge members to follow the protocols outlined by the government, and together we can all play our part to help flatten the curve.

Kind regards,

Lisa Molloy
CEO IACP


 

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