Staying Connected in Isolation

Staying Connected in Isolation 
Analysis during Crisis

We are pleased to bring you this virtual edition of the JAP which we hope you might find useful in the current times.

Many people have found John Merchant’s paper on working virtually very useful (it is available free on the link below) and he has prepared a very brief question/checklist, related to the paper, on the opposite page.

The following papers are available free of charge from our publisher, Wiley's, website.

Click here to link to the Virtual edition.
 
Merchant, J. (2016). The Use of Skype in Analysis and Training: A Research and Literature Review. J. Anal. Psychol., 61(3):309-328.
 
Roesler, C. (2017). Tele-Analysis: The Use of Media Technology in Psychotherapy and its Impact on the Therapeutic Relationship. J. Anal. Psychol., 62(3):372-394.
 
Jones, R.A. (2017). Guest Editorial: Jung and Technology. J. Anal. Psychol., 62(3):335-337.
 
Jones, R.A. (2017). Archaic Man Meets a Marvellous Automaton: Posthumanism, Social Robots, Archetypes. J. Anal. Psychol., 62(3):338-355.
 
Sidoli, M. (1993). When the Meaning Gets Lost in the Body: Psychosomatic disturbances as a failure of the transcendent function. J. Anal. Psychol., 38(2):175-190.
 
Wilkinson, M. (2017).  Mind, brain and body. Healing trauma: the way forward. Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol.62(4), pp.526-543;

 

 

Working Online

John Merchant PhD

Given the contemporary pandemic situation (and this could be ongoing for some time), there are now many analysts being “forced” to work online when that has not been their previous milieu. That being the case, what needs highlighting to practitioners (and especially for those who are new to working online) are a number of important practicalities that I covered in my 2016 paper, ‘The use of Skype in analysis and training: A research and literature review’ Journal of Analytical Psychology, 61(3), 309-328.
 
These important practicalities are:
 
1. Licensing and insurance issues – does the practitioner’s Professional Indemnity insurance cover them for online work? And if so, does this apply to all countries in the world?
 
2. Assessing the security, confidentiality and protection of data
 
3. The use of a private and confidential space (by both participants) at a set time for sessions
 
4. The gaining of informed consent from patients for online work
 
5. Having a plan to deal with technology failures, including a pre-arranged back-up system and other means of contact
 
6. Having clear and concise fee and billing arrangements
 
7. Having a powerful enough technology to limit drop-outs
 
8. Operating in a sufficiently shared language to facilitate communication
 
9. Giving attention to reporting requirements
 
10. Having an emergency plan to cover things like suicide issues
 
11. Undertaking an initial assessment of possible online patients including specification of those who would be contraindicated. Research indicates that those with Axis II diagnoses (personality and developmental disorders) and/or severe depression (especially suicidality) and/or unstable personal relationships are contraindicated.
 
Other issues that practitioners have commented upon have included dealing with silence; the intensification of dream material that can occur with online work; augmenting sufficient privacy; the different experience of online visual versus non-visual input etc.
 
The critical thing to be remembered is that the research up until 2016 indicated that an analytic approach could work online involving transference/countertransference dynamics because of the cross-modal communication between the human senses (underpinned by audiovisual mirror neurons), in addition to the instinct for communication and interpersonal understanding.