Issued: 21 March 2020
(This replaces the statement made on 19 March 2020)
In light of the COVID-19 situation AREBT is issuing the following information:
Please note: For information on how to protect yourself from the Coronavirus you should always follow the latest Government advice.
This Government advice supersedes this statement.
Please also refer to the full AREBT Code of Conduct, particularly noting the following:
The AREBT Code of Conduct states:
You must deal fairly and safely with the risks of infection.
You must take precautions to protect your service users and yourself from infection as appropriate to the treatment you are carrying out. In particular, you should protect your service users from infecting one another. You must take precautions against the risk that you will infect someone else.
This is especially important if you suspect or know that you have an infection that could harm other people. If you believe or know that you may have this kind of infection, you must get medical advice and act on it. This may include the need for you to stop practicing altogether, or to change your practice in some way in the best interests of protecting your service users.
You must limit your work or stop practicing if your performance or judgment is affected by your health.
You have a duty to take action if your physical or mental health could be harming your fitness to practice. You should get advice from a consultant in occupational health or another suitably qualified medical practitioner and act on it. This advice should consider whether, and in what ways, you should change your practice, including stopping practicing if this is necessary.
There has been no Government advice on whether therapy is an essential contact.
We recognise that members may feel conflicted in terms of providing a continuity of service whilst ensuring the safety of yourself and others.
We would encourage you to speak with your clinical supervisor to make a decision on working face-to-face, informed both by the most up to date government guidelines and AREBT standards and guidelines. You need to consider the safety of both yourself and your client.
If you do carry on working face-to-face, please follow sensible guidelines in terms of hand-washing, ensuring hand washing facilities are available to all who enter your practice space and that door handles are regularly cleaned.
It is also helpful to consider with your client a plan for what would happen if one or other of you became unable to attend face-to-face.
If you do decide to stop face-to-face therapy, consider whether online or telephone provision would be a possibility for yourself and your clients.
In doing so, you will need to let your patient know the reason for doing so, as well as letting them know if this method may change the course of therapy that was originally agreed upon. It is important that your client is able to be involved in this decision and has the option to pause therapy if they wish to do so.
It is important that you feel competent in providing telephone or online therapy, and that you receive supervision from a supervisor who is competent in supervising such practice.
Please consult the BABCP resource with some top tips on providing remote therapy which you can access here.
If you become unwell
If you become unwell, you must follow Government advice. If you are unsure of your symptoms you are advised to look at the NHS website or call 111 to seek further guidance.
If you are unwell in normal circumstances, consider how your clients would ordinarily be seen. Do you have associates or other therapists in place who can provide some support, for instance?
Have you worked with your Supervisor on a Therapy Will, which can cover what will happen should you be unable to see your clients due to a serious illness or death? Working on this in Supervision, if you have not already done so, should be a priority.
AREBT CONFERENCE – 30TH NOVEMBER 2020
We are working alongside the venue and with speakers and will advise at a later date. However, do please keep this date free in your diary, as we will be looking at all options with regard to delivering a safe and accessible conference and AGM for our members, including a Virtual Conference.
Please note that AREBT will not be liable for the costs incurred from booking of any travel, accommodation or associated costs, so please do not book these until the AREBT Conference has been confirmed and registration for the Conference begins. We will keep you informed.
Financial support for therapists in private practice
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced temporary measures to support self-employed people during this period. Full details of these measures are available at the Government’s COVID-19 Support for businesses web page.
It may be useful to keep track of any earnings lost during this period, in case there is need to provide evidence for lost earnings at a later date.