As state and local governments relax stay-at-home orders, psychologists around the country are tasked with difficult decisions about if, when, and how to reopen their practices. The situation is fluid, testing psychologists’ ability to tolerate and navigate ambiguity while balancing their safety and well-being with the safety of their colleagues and patients.
Meanwhile, a parallel process is occurring across the world as leaders debate how to balance health risks for COVID-19 transmission with the continued risks of shutdown, such as an increase in deaths from alcohol and drug misuse and suicide; neglected non-COVID-19 medical issues; and increased domestic violence.
This is difficult, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct provides support for psychologists’ professional decision-making in such uncertain times. Here are some key considerations for psychologists grappling with the decision to resume in-person services.