Tele-mental health in the digital age: Prospects, pitfalls and provocations for psychological interventions beyond COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a rapid global transition to forms of tele-health – and for us within the discipline and profession of psychology – tele-mental health. While both tele-health programmes and tele-mental health initiatives have been available for several decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an accelerated impetus for the widespread uptake and use of online technology platforms in the delivery of psychological services. Some of this has been related to necessity, as practitioners have attempted to maintain their responsiveness to patients, as well as preserve their own personal income streams. In other instances, many have seen the value of technology in enhancing access to psychological services, that overcomes some of the historical inequities around health information, education and interventions.
But there are also a number of new questions that this transition has raised. What are the new dimensions of ethics and the broad principles of conduct for practitioners under these new conditions? In addition, how efficacious are interventions based on tele-mental health, and how well does patient care and risk management measure up relative to face-to-face interventions? What are the technological dimensions that are both enabling and disabling within these new delivery platforms? How are different practitioners, working in different modalities and from different theoretical perspectives, able or unable to adjust to this new delivery mode? Finally, which psychological needs are best suited to being serviced through these new technologies, and which are less appropriate and amenable to intervention through this medium?
In this webinar, we have several practitioners who are differently located within the profession, and who self-identify as having specific paradigmatic affinities, in dialogue on these prospects, pitfalls and provocations. Given that the effects of COVID-19 are likely to reverberate for some time across all aspects of social life, these are critical points of engagement for practitioners and professionals as the digital age becomes more sedimented in all parts of our lives.
Meet our Panellists!
Moderator: Prof Anthony Pillay
Anthony Pillay, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioural Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Psychology & a Past President of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). He received his post-doctoral training in Maternal and Child Health at Harvard and his research areas include forensic psychology, professional training, and the mental health of women and children
Dylan Evans is a clinical psychologist working in private practice and also Fort Napier Psychiatric Hospital, where he is involved in intern training. He is a little bit of a geek and enjoys tinkering with technology and therefore has an interest in the applications of technology in psychotherapeutic practice. This has led to research on how psychologists use technology in their practices and also the development of initial guidelines for telepsychology in South Africa.
Dr. Kgamadi Kometsi
Dr. Kgamadi Kometsi is a Clinical Psychologist and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg. He has taught both at UCT and at Wits in the past, and has recently rejoined the academy following a stint as a manager in the public sector. Dr. Kometsi has a private practice in Highlands North, where he practices a psychoanalytically influenced psychotherapy.
Dr Colinda Linde
Dr Colinda Linde. Colinda is a clinical psychologist, in private practice since 1993 and specialising in cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety disorders, sleep issues, stress and burnout. She is the founder of The CBT Group, also the creator of the CBT site Thoughtsfirst (www.thoughtsfirst.com) which reflects her passion for self-help.
Colinda has been involved with SADAG since 1999, as an Advisory Board member and Director, also former Chairperson. Her portfolio includes media as well as counsellor selection and training. She is regularly quoted in written media and professional journals, frequently interviewed on radio and television as an expert guest, and is a keynote speaker on mental health topics and more.
Colinda has authored several books, including Get the balance right- coping strategies for working mothers (Metz Press, 2005), Dealing with panic the CBT way (Alembic, 2015) and Practical Mindfulness (Alembic, 2018) co-authored with Neil Bierbaum, co-founder of the Practical Mindfulness programme.
Mr Zamo Mbele
Zamo Mbele is a clinical psychologist currently practicing as a senior psychotherapist and supervising psychologist at Tara H. Moross Hospital and at the WITS Donald Gordon Medical Centre. Zamo is the vice-chairperson of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), and a director of the Ububele Education Trust.
Date: Tuesday, 10th of November 2020
Time: 18:30 – 20:30
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