In this time of increased anxiety and stress, we want to provide support in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We have collected some resources that may be helpful to EMDRIA members below. We know that EMDR therapists are also following the guidelines and regulations of their respective mental health professions.
Guidelines for Virtual EMDR Therapy
A Report of the Virtual Training and Therapy Task Group. At this time, the body of published research literature that provides a foundation of knowledge regarding the delivery of online EMDR therapy is limited. This gap in knowledge underscores the need for research in this area. This report introduces relevant issues with regard to the virtual delivery of EMDR therapy and specifically addresses professional practice and guidelines, ethical considerations, and overarching issues for EMDR therapy delivered by virtual means.
Please Note: We will continue to add resources as they become available during this time of emerging knowledge and best practices.
Returning to work
Many therapists are struggling with how best to help their clients and keep themselves safe during this time when businesses and regions are beginning to lift shelter-in-place restrictions. The decision to resume in-person work, return to the work place, or continue via telehealth (for those that moved online) is a difficult one. There are many aspects to consider and an array of guidelines to choose from. Stay informed by checking in with your local or regional bodies. Consult with colleagues. EMDRIA members can post questions and share information in the COVID-19 Resource Community.
Resources from government organizations:
- CDC. Workplace decision tool. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/workplace-decision-tool.html
- CDC. Interim CDC guidance on handling non-COVID-19 public health activities that required face-to-face interaction with clients in the clinic and field in the current COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/non-covid-19-client-interaction.html
- OSHA. Guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19. Retrieved June 1: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
- White House. Executive order on saving lives through increased support for mental - and behavioral - health needs. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-saving-lives-increased-support-mental-behavioral-health-needs/?MvBriefArticleId=60879
- White House and CDC. Guidelines: Opening up America again. https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/
- WHO. Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19. Retrieved June 1: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf
Resources from mental health professional organizations and therapists:
- AAMFT. COVID-19: Reopening practices and resuming in-person sessions. Retrieved June 1: https://www.aamft.org/Events/Coronavirus-Reopening-Guidelines.aspx
- APA. COVID-19: When is it OK to resume in-person services? (2020, May 1). https://www.apaservices.org/practice/news/in-person-services-covid-19
- APA. Sample informed consent form for resuming in-person services. (2020, May 7). https://www.apaservices.org/practice/clinic/covid-19-informed-consent
- Boring-Bray, W. (2020, May). Counseling after COVID-19: What should providers do? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/new-beginning/202005/counseling-after-covid-19-what-should-providers-do
- Camper, A. B., & Felton, E. M. (2020, April). Social worker's disclosure responsibilities during the pandemic. NASW Office of General Counsel. https://www.emdria.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Social-Workers-Disclosure-Responsibility-During-COVID-19-1.pdf.
- Article addresses situations in which social workers have been asked to disclose client names in order to assist in tracing exposure to the coronavirus. Retrieved from NASW Legal Resources webpage: https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Legal/COVID-19-Legal-Resources
- Higdon, K. (2020, May). Checklist: Returning to the therapy office after COVID-19. https://www.zynnyme.com/blog/returning-to-the-counseling-therapy-office-after-covid-19
- NASW. Social work safety. COVID-19: Practice guidelines for reopening social work practices. https://www.socialworkers.org/Practice/Infectious-Diseases/Coronavirus/Social-Work-Safety
- Sheperis, D. S., Ordway, A., Kocet, M., & Hermann, M. (2020, September). Ethics in the time of COVID: Contact tracing. Counseling Today. https://ct.counseling.org/2020/09/ethics-in-the-time-of-covid-contact-tracing/?MvBriefArticleId=46805
Stimulus Relief Information
Many EMDR therapists are sole proprietors/self-employed or run a small business. The stimulus package passed by Congress provides various supports to small businesses and sole proprietors. The following resources could provide information on help for which you might qualify.
- Insperity. The coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security act (CARES act). Retrieved April 1, 2020 from https://2firkl1qsbue2ashgy21ze4i-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/COVID-19-CARES-Act-Sheet.pdf
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce. COVID-19 emergency loans: Small business guide. Retrieved April 1, 2020 from https://www.uschamber.com/report/covid-19-emergency-loans-small-business-guide
- U.S. Small Business Administration. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small business guidance & loan resources. Retrieved April 1, 2020 from https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
EMDR Specific Platforms
These are platforms or apps that provide EMDR specific services regarding BLS/DAS. Android's Google Play store and the iPhone App Store both have various options as well. Note: EMDRIA does not endorse any of these companies.
- BSDR player
- Bilateral Base
- Easy EMDR
- EMDR Helper
General Telehealth Information
State by state guide for telehealth services during COVID-19:
Please note this is a work in progress and a starting place only. Always contact both your state board and any potential client's state board (if different) before proceeding.
- State by State Guide for Mental Health Professionals. The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved from: https://cmhc.utexas.edu/state_telehealth.html
For information on telehealth:
Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center. Telehealth coverage policies in the time of COVID-19. Retrieved April 1, 2020 from https://www.cchpca.org/resources/covid-19-telehealth-coverage-policies
National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers. COVID-19 telehealth resources. Retrieved April 9, 2020 from:https://www.telehealthresourcecenter.org/covid-19-resources/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Telebehavioral health training and technical assistance. Retrieved April 8, 2020 from: https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/operations-administration/telebehavioral-health#1
HIPAA compliant teletherapy platforms:
To learn more about HIPAA and HIPAA compliance, go to https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html. HIPAA compliant platforms include a BAA or Business Associate Agreement. A BAA is a contract between a HIPAA-covered entity (therapist) and a HIPAA business associate (affiliated party who handles PHI e.g. lawyer, accountant, or platform). BAAs satisfy HIPAA regulations and protect PHI or protected health information in accordance with HIPAA guidelines. A BAA creates legal recourse for each party. Note: EMDRIA does not endorse any of these companies.
- Nous Talk
- Simple Practice
- Zoom (Basic plan does not include a BAA, so would not be HIPAA compliant. However, there is an option at cost that offers the HIPAA compliant BAA)
Resources by Mental Health Profession
Be familiar with your legal responsibilities for the delivery of telehealth services by checking with your state licensing board. In addition, each profession may have their own guidelines and ethical codes for the provision of mental health services via telehealth.
- Counseling: American Counseling Association, http://www.counseling.org
- Marriage Family Therapy: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, http://www.aamft.org
- Psychology: American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org
- Psychiatry: American Psychiatric Association, http://www.psychiatry.org
- Social Work: National Association for Social Workers, http://www.socialworkers.org
Mental Health Assistance
For patients and family members in need of immediate assistance:
- Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990. Text TalkWithUs to 66746
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255. Chat with Lifeline
- Crisis Help Line: Call 1-800-233-4357
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
- Mental Health Information for Disease Outbreaks via Mental Health America
- Resources for mental health care providers and frontline workers assisting with the global COVID-19 crisis
SAMHSA Tip Sheet for Clients
For Ongoing Updates on the Coronavirus
Keep current regarding recommendations for risk mitigation from:
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019