Virtual Group Therapy During COVID-19: Implications and Recommendations

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Whalley, Marissa
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The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has altered the lives of millions across the world (Weinberg, 2020). Beyond the physical detriments of the virus, the mental health impacts of the pandemic have also been significant (Taylor et al., 2020). Particularly, the social distancing requirements resulted in mental health consequences. The social isolation resulting from the pandemic has been associated with increased anxiety, depression, loneliness, PTSD, substance misuse, and suicidality in the literature (Loades et al., 2020; Pancani et al., 2021). However, technology has offered means for people to remain socially connected to others virtually (Moroz et al., 2021). While several practitioners in the mental health field have utilized telepsychology during the pandemic to help with the mental side effects of social isolation, often, it has been on an individual basis. Yet, the literature demonstrates that congregating in groups during times of distress can decrease substance misuse, loneliness, anxiety, and depression (Marmarosh et al., 2020; Parks, 2020). Therefore, the following literature review aims to investigate the utility of conducting virtual group therapy to help with the mental side effects associated with social isolation during the pandemic. A comprehensive literature review was conducted from City University of Seattle's Library on articles regarding virtual group therapy from January 2020 until August 2022. The subsequent paper addresses relevant background information, virtual group therapy benefits, challenges, efficacy, effectiveness, feasibility, implications, ethical considerations, and recommendations.
virtual group therapy , virtual group psychotherapy , virtual group counselling , virtual group session , covid-19 , covid , coronavirus , pandemic
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess