You are all aware by now that an unusual state of affairs exists around the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared CORONAVIRIS (COVID-19) a pandemic and a number of countries are taking increasingly rigorous measures to limit its spread.
Interdependence not Self-Interest-We all Have to Do What it Takes
Here in Australia, a state of emergency has been declared in a number of states to enforce social distancing in order to reduce the rate of transmission. We all have to do our part in the ongoing strategy to ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the rate of infection to avoid overwhelming health services.
Business as ‘Unusual’
This means ‘business as unusual’. There will be NO CHANGE to our established practice of online consultations (by telephone or video), nationally and internationally. We plan to expand our online services and, effective immediately, we will suspend personal (face to face) consultations here in Australia until further notice. This is because it is difficult to maintain the required social distance when working with family groups-unless it its by video conference.
Also effective immediately, cancellation fees have been SUSPENDED and professional fees paid in advance will be refunded or reallocated for another consultation if you cannot attend for health reasons.
Both the Best and the Worst is Yet to Come:
Whilst many aspects of our lives will change, human nature will not. We will discover the best and worst of us in times such as these. We expect more people will feel socially alienated, seperate from friends, family, work and left to fend for themselves. There is a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and it will be a different light. Not all of the aspects of our society will retain the same meaning or significance to us, some aspects may no longer be sustainable, some emerging trends will take over and become normal. We need to adapt-its what humans do best.
Alienation and Child Psychological Abuse will ‘Mutate’-So YOU will Have to Adapt!
Already, we know that cooperation and collaboration will be the only way to address a potential existential threat such as COVID-19. The era of self-interested individuality may be over.
Or not-because not everyone may think the same way. We expect that child psychological abuse by alienation may take on different forms and exploit the context of social distancing. Social (or more correctly spatial distancing) is both necessary to keep children safe but also provides a ready means of withholding contact for ‘health and safety’ reasons.
Additionally, already overloaded family law systems now have to adapt to an environment where physical presence in mediation, in court and for interventions such as family counselling may be an unacceptable risk. A 2-week isolation may be both necessary and an opportunity to consolidate child psychological abuse by alienation, compounded by increasing delays in family law systems.
This also opens up new opportunities to use established and emerging technologies to re-connect and/or maintain contact between children and parents.
Adapt to Changing Conditions on Social Contact
We are aware that some people are not comfortable with consultations by telephone or video or may not have the necessary internet or computer services. However, we have the capacity for high-quality and secure video conference and documentation review facilities that offer you more safety and security with your health, and which require only limited internet services. We encourage you wherever possible to utilise the telephone and our secure video services.
For the sake of your children, if not for yourself, please follow your local guidelines. Think carefully about maintaining contact with your children, keep them safe and in contact with you.