Firstly I hope you are safe and well.
The phrase ‘living in interesting times’ is becoming a little over used at the moment, but it seems to best describe the current situation we find ourselves in. Below are some guidelines in relation to the current situation for members, but we all need to be conscious that government/ HSE guidance is being updated and changed on an ongoing basis, so the monitoring of these changes on a daily basis is an important thing to do.
Many members will be with out of paid work for a time and finances will be tight. Information on your entitlements for claims can be found on the Citizens Information website:
IACAT Membership Fee/ Personal Practice Insurance
Aware of the financial implications, at this moment in time for members (and also the need to have insurance where membership of a professional body is required) we have decided to implement the following re the membership renewal that will take place on April 1st.
The Professional membership fee for 2020/21 will be reduced to €80 (currently €110) and will be deducted in two installments:
1st April – €40 (to ensure continuity of insurance)
1st October – €40 (to allow recovery of practice)
All other fees remain the same and will be deducted also in two installments: on April 1st and the 1st of Oct.
This will have some implications in terms of spending priorities for IACAT for the coming year, but these will be reviewed and reorganised to work within the budget we will now have.
As per our Code of Ethics we have a duty of care both for our clients wellbeing and our own in terms of the administering of therapy when we are fit an well to do so (1.1.15). Many members I know are in the situation where their sessions have been cancelled by the organisations they are working with. Others have decided to cease offering sessions until further notice in order to maintain safety for all concerned.
At this point in time we would advise that it is probably important to consider ceasing any therapy sessions for the time being, but that if you do consider continuing that you undertaken all the precautions recommended by the Government/HSE in terms of social distancing/ hand & surface cleansing and any other guidance given.
Below are some points and information regarding the current situation and its implications:
Issue of social distance/ safe working of 2 metres
Implications for undertaking sessions, particularly group and children. Is it possible to maintain this particularly with children? Consider how you maintain cleanliness between session and clients and the time that is needed for this. Current information on the implications of corona virus can be found at:
Meetings - any regional group/ special interest group/ supervision/ peer supervision meetings will need to address this issue and consider alternative ways of maintaining support.
Alternative support/ therapy interventions for working with clients i.e Skype/ telephone.
This has therapeutic consequences but might be temporarily useful for some client/ situations. Issue if you are self employed/ working privately your insurer may need to know about, so do check in with them re this change in practice. Raises GDPR issues - consent would need to be renegotiated to include this in the therapeutic contract. In terms of the issue of data safety/ confidentiality issues telephone contact is thought to be safer than other forms of digital media.
It would be best to explore this option, if you are considering this, with your supervisor to reflect on the implications for both your client and yourself.
IACAT has put together relevant information regarding the issues of working on line. We are grateful to Rowena Keaveny, who recently ran a CPD training day on working with digital media, for her help in compiling this information for members. Click here for document.
This is also a useful document prepared by our friends in Badth UK (some details differ as per HSE/NHS guidlines)
This will be reviewed at the beginning of April.
Keeping healthy in mind as well as body
This has become a stressful time for us all and the continuing way that the ‘story’ of the corona virus outbreak is revealed to us, can feel overwhelming at times. Maybe this is a time to remember why we came to be a Creative Arts Therapists in the first place? Time to reengage or continue our arts practice in what ever form and to share (on line) with those we are connected with? Or an article for Polyphony?
For general advice on well being:
https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/ mental-health/minding-your- mental-health-during-the- coronavirus-outbreak.html
We will put as much useful information as we can on to the IACAT website and socail media in the next while, so do please check this for any up dates etc.. In the meantime if you have any queries do come back to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Stay safe and well
Best wishes on behalf IACAT Council