Counselling during the Coronavirus outbreak

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Here at Safe Place Therapy, we’d like to reassure you that any counseling or therapy you need is still fully available for you during the current Coronavirus / Covid-19 virus outbreak.

This applies whether your therapy is something you have arranged for yourself, is a referral from a medical professional, is part of a family program with the involvement of Social Services, or is Court ordered?

We now offer two services that are appropriate during the current outbreak and comply with current scientific and medical guidelines

Remote Counselling

If you do not want to attend therapy sessions in person, we will provide video and audio sessions remotely, using free software you can easily access, including Skype, Google Hangouts or WhatsApp. If there is another video and audio service you already use and would prefer us to use that, just let us know and we will be happy to discuss.

That means you can stay at home and still have exactly the same quality and quantity of therapy as you had before.

This is in no way a lower level of counseling – anything and everything can still be covered.

Safe Social Distance counseling

We are monitoring official recommendations closely and based on what the relevant Government guidelines at the time being, if you would rather still attend our practice and meet with us in person, and are clear of the virus, you can of course still attend.

We have already put special hygiene measures in place, based on the latest medical advice, to ensure that if you visit us in person, there will not be any unnecessary risks.

The Science behind Covid-19 and why attending therapy sensibly can be safe

Although the current Covid-19 outbreak needs to be taken very seriously, there is no need for excessive anxiety about the risks. A few simple changes in behavior plus a science-based view on what the real level of risk is will mean you are highly unlikely to get sick from the Virus and need not feel unduly distressed.

The right approach to the pandemic is to listen to the official government advice and to follow it. Taking a practical pragmatic approach will protect you and your family.  There is a great deal of misunderstanding and plainly wrong information around the current pandemic.

Our current research-based knowledge of Covid -19 is that the primary means of transmission is almost always the result of unwashed hands that have the virus on them, touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

The virus can live for a while on surfaces too.

However, like most viruses that affect people, it really needs a human host to thrive and to spread. In the case of Coronavirus / Covid 19 that is a person who may or may not have symptoms. 

It will not last long in the air, nor be able to travel great distances.  Therefore in normal situations, wearing a non-specialist commercially available facemask (especially those used for DIY painting, sanding, etc.) will not protect you from catching the Covid -19 virus as it usually is not airborne (and in the event it is, these kinds of facemasks can still be penetrated by the Virus, which is very tiny).

In fact, fiddling with a  facemask with unwashed hands will actually increase the risk to you of getting Covid -19 as it puts the virus (which may be on your hands) near the risk areas of the mouth, the nose and the eyes. These are the usual entry points of Covid -19.  

The only real benefit of a facemask is to protect other people if you are coughing or sneezing and therefore projecting the virus out of your body.

Even then, many facemasks people are using will still allow the virus to pass through the material. So, you do not need to wear a facemask to attend therapy and nor should you expect the counselor to wear a facemask either.

What we do ask anyone who wants to attend in person to do is three simple things that are all common sense:

  1. Do not attend in person if you feel unwell or have been recently in contact with someone who appears to have symptoms. In this case, we suggest Skype, Google hangout, etc. 
  2. When attending in person, stay about 6 feet / 2 meters away from other people (staff or visitors) to our practice. This is the ‘social distancing’ guideline that the WHO and many Governments are promoting. Do not expect to be shaken by the hand etc. 
  3.  Wash your hands thoroughly on the way into our premises and on the way out with soap and warm water.    

These three guidelines follow the latest Government and WHO (World Health Organisation) best practices

So, just by taking these three simple, easy to remember and sensible precautions, you will make your visit as safe as possible. This is all based on the very latest science and medical research and we will update the advice as and when needed. Your well being is our concern.

Just to reiterate, if for any reason you cannot or do not want to attend our practice in person,  that is easy to set up providing you have access to a smartphone, tablet or PC. We can advise you of the best video link applications for you to use.  

In the event you have a pre-existing anxiety condition such as obsessive hand washing etc. just think carefully if you would prefer to visit in person or prefer to have your counseling session done remotely via the internet. 

Summary – Counselling with Safe Place Therapy remains Safe

In a nutshell, there is no reason to postpone, delay or cancel any counseling. Safe Place Therapy continues to be a safe place – irrespective of the current situation. We can work with you equally as well remotely or at our Melbourne practice.

So, remember that life will go on and things will return t normal. In the meantime, there is no reason to delay or cancel your counseling – in fact now is exactly the kind of time that having someone sympathetic, welcoming and professionally trained to talk to is a big benefit.

We are all in this together and we will pull through together. 

So please email or call us and we’ll be happy to discuss the different options we can offer to you. You can also book your time now.

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