‘When it comes to relational trauma, you need people at the table’: Therapist experiences of online therapy for families with a prior disclosure of sibling sexual abuse during Covid‐19 pandemic lockdowns

Aletta Simons*, Martine Noordegraaf, Tine Van Regenmortel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study aims to contribute to the evaluation of online therapy during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, by exploring family therapists’ experiences of therapy for twelve Sibling Sexual Abuse (SSA) families in the Netherlands. Seven transcripts of interviews with highly specialised Dutch family therapists were analysed using thematic analysis (TA). Two main findings emerged from this study. First, the Dutch therapists reported no acute worries about their clients’ sexual safety during the pandemic lockdowns. Nonetheless, the switch to online therapy for the SSA families created concern regarding victim safety in speaking out freely at home. Second, while the sudden switch to online therapy enabled SSA therapists to stay connected with their SSA families, therapists experienced a decline in therapy quality and in their own well-being. In the therapists’ experience, it was almost impossible to conduct their most fundamental interventions online, such as intervening in family relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-503
JournalJournal of Family Therapy
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • impact of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns
  • online family therapy
  • relational trauma
  • sibling sexual abuse

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