In this Q&A with the board of the British Journal of Psychotherapy (BJP), psychoanalyst Gillian Isaacs Russell, author of the 2015 book Screen Relations, discusses changes to the experience of psychotherapy brought about by the twin factors of the Covid-19 pandemic and the abrupt shift to “mediated communication” by phone or video conferencing (p. 1). Implicitly, the author writes from the standpoint that, beyond providing for continuity of care, there are no therapeutic opportunities inherent to technologically mediated treatment for either patient or therapist, and expresses the hope that “the value of co-present relating has been rediscovered and reasserted” (p. 10). This short review hopes to provide some element for patients and practitioners who wish to put this in perspective with their own experience.
The therapeutic relationship can only effect change in depth, and this is why the psychotherapist will make every effort to provide the best possible conditions so that this change is beneficial to the patient.
On 23 June 2016, a majority of the British electorate chose to leave the European Union. The economy and political landscape in Great Britain are changed dramatically, and beyond this, individuals can find themselves deeply affected.
The initial consultation is more structured than the “typical” session of therapy, which tends to meander as it follows the course of the unconscious. Despite being more “protocol-heavy”, it is still unique to each individual, both in what it contains and in the way it unfolds.