Sharing experiences and positive outcomes from working as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist during COVID-19

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Jude Piercey



In early 2020, COVID-19 began disrupting working life across the globe, with remote working and social distancing becoming the norm for many industries. This called for radical changes in psychotherapeutic practices in Australia and internationally, challenging the long-accepted face-to-face therapeutic model. COVID-19 also introduced new anxieties for patients and practitioners alike. In this paper, I draw on my own personal experiences and, through a series of case studies, explore how moving to remote working during COVID-19 actually provided unexpected and positive therapeutic outcomes. Firstly, I discuss how unexpectantly working remotely with a young girl in long-term psychotherapy helped her to return from her “psychic retreat”. Secondly, I look at how a father who was working remotely at home during COVID-19 was more available to his anorectic daughter. Thirdly, I describe how students who were undertaking infant observations were able to continue these intimate mother/caregiver and baby observations remotely, and how crucial these were to the observed family.


Keywords: child-play, transference, countertransference, containment, the unconscious, infant observation, COVID-19


Address for Correspondence
Jude Piercey