What is it about?

Research explored characteristics facilitating & disinhibiting meetings at relational depth. By viewing masks as a characteristic, the socio-cultural effects of masks on client/patient care and decision-making to meet in depth are further understood

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Why is it important?

The overall aim was to explore relationships between masks and relational depth. Viewing masks as a characteristic sought to understand further the socio-cultural impacts of masks on client/patient care and decision-making to meet at depth. This research demonstrates immediate social and international context due to COVID-19


Seeing masks as an extended part of the client facilitated and inhibited meetings at depth, influenced by what masks represented to therapists/clients at moments of contact. Masks acted as a focal point, reminding therapists of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therapists must have experiential awareness of their interoceptive process when wearing masks to be ready to offer relational depth. When both therapist and client appeared mutually disconnected to masks, not each other, they found depth moments, connecting through disconnection. Psychological interventions should be a part of the public health response to addressing psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Kidd

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This page is a summary of: Therapists facing masks: A qualitative study of the nature of relationships between masks and relational depth, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, February 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/capr.12517.
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