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REMOTE WORKING DURING THE PANDEMIC : A Q&A WITH GILLIAN ISAACS RUSSELL

Authors
  • Isaacs Russell, Gillian
Type
Published Article
Journal
British Journal of Psychotherapy
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Publication Date
Jul 09, 2020
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/bjp.12581
PMID: 32836623
PMCID: PMC7361569
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

In this interview by email, Gillian Isaacs Russell, author of the influential Screen Relations: The Limits of Computer‐Mediated Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy , responds to a set of questions from the BJP . The interview focuses on the impact of remote working during the coronavirus epidemic, starting with the question of whether an effective therapeutic process can occur without physical co‐presence. Isaacs Russell shares her immediate thoughts about the virtually overnight changes to our practice that came with the epidemic, and the work of the American Psychoanalytic Association's Covid‐19 Advisory Team, on which she sits. Her responses are informed by recent cross‐disciplinary and neuropsychological research on the digital age. She considers what happens to free association, evenly suspended attention and reverie when working by phone or online; the loss of the consulting room as a containing physical space for both clinician and patient; the relationship between place and time; and whether (and how) we can maintain a focus on transference and countertransference in the presence of the threat of death. The interview ends with her thoughts on whether we should assume that the landscape of analytic therapy will be permanently altered by Covid‐19, and with her hope that general awareness of the impact of trauma on our mental health has been raised.

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