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Office Information concerning the Coronavirus

Dear client of my office,

as you know, it was not possible for a month to personally visit my office. The restrictions issued by the Bavarian Government on March 20, 2020, due to the corona pandemic, had initially been formulated strictly and only allowed you to see a psychotherapist in case of an urgent medical necessity. They have been specified on March 27, 2020 and, according to the supplementary decree of April 16, 2020, they were valid until May 3, midnight.

Yet, with a resolution of the German government and the Federal Heads of Government of March 15, 2020, step by step relaxations were projected which again granted the visit of a psychologist’s office under certain, clearly defined conditions. Service agents could do their job if a direct physical proximity was not necessary and if a clear hygienic concept could be offered. I have done so for my office and I have since offered counseling in my studio and online. Below, you find my concrete implementation of the measures of protection and hygiene.

When the number of infections rose worldwide in November 2020 with the Federal Republic of Germany and Bavaria also being affected, and after it was evident that a government declaration (November 27, 2020), an infection protection regulation (November 30, 2020), and a press conference (December 1 2020) did not yet have the desired immediate success, the Council of Ministers of the Bavarian State Government decided on further measures to contain the corona pandemic in a cabinet meeting on December 6, 2020. These were supplemented by a further infection protection measure (December 8, 2020) and on December 13, 2020 by a conference call between the Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states.

The disaster case which has been declared on December 6, 2020 only allows you to leave your own apartment for good reasons. It is effective on December 9, 2020 (with the exception of a brief relaxation of the contact restrictions at Christmas time (December 23 to December 26). It is possible to exercise professional activities, to visit relatives, to shop in authorized stores and to use medical and psychotherapeutic services. You can find a detailed list on the website of the Bavarian State Ministry. For hotspots only defined by an incidence of more than 200, even stricter curfews apply.

This regulation will be tightened by a lockdown that will come into force on December 16, 2020 and will temporarily apply until January 10, 2021. As in hotspots, services that require physical proximity are prohibited except for medically necessary treatments, but psychotherapy is not one of them, as there is a sufficient safety distance here.

Thus it is still possible to carry out traffic therapy, i.e. you can visit my practice. It goes without saying that you reserve the right to switch to the contactless video therapy.

Measures of Protection and Hygiene
– My Office Guidelines –

1. Basic Remarks

The infection protection and the hygiene are a top priority in our traffic psychological work as well. Only if therapist and client are compliant with these measures, will the necessary safety of protection be ensured. Yet, every visit of my office will retain a residual risk not fully eliminable which everyone accepts who enters my office.

2. Visitor Regulation

a. Client appointments in sufficient time intervals

Client appointments will take place at intervals of one and a half hours. Since each session lasts 75 minutes there will not be a contact between clients. There will also be sufficient time for the necessary procedure of disinfection.

b. Rigorous adherence to the time frame of the therapy

Clients are asked to appear exactly at the time fixed. The sessions will have to close punctually. Although a waiting room is available, it will exclusively be at the disposal of one client.

c. Individual counseling in private conversation

The therapy will exclusively take place in private conversation, i.e. only the psychologist and the client will be in the office. For the time being, no third person (family member, interpreter etc.) will be present. This is necessary to guarantee the safety distance of all visitors in the studio.

3. Hygienic Guidelines

a. Washing one’s hands before the session

Every client is asked to wash his hands immediately after entering the office in the guest toilet. Liquid soap and disposable towels, as well as a disinfection fluid and spray, are available. The therapist will also wash his hands before each session.

b. Disinfection of possible contamination points

Before respectively after each session the arm rests of the client’s chair and the door knobs and handles are disinfected.

c. Keeping a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters (5 feet)

Client and therapist keep under all circumstances the necessary safety distance of at least one and a half meters (5 feet). There will be no handshake. A delivery table is separating the chairs of the client and the therapist. It can be used to share documents.

d. Voluntary use of disposable plastic gloves or a protection mask

The client will be offered disposable gloves and a disposable protection mask which will not remain in the office after use. If he wishes so, the client can also bring his own protective gear. The use is optional. There will be disposable towels on the delivery table which offer extra protection against droplet infection.

4. Self Observation and Health

Client and therapist only visit the office if they are feeling healthy and if they do not observe any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, respiratory problems etc.). In such a case it is always possible and necessary to cancel the session. You are helping me if you do so 24 hours in advance.

5. Personal responsibility and self discipline

Therapist and client respect the concept of social distancing. They develop ways to minimize the infection risk when coming to and leaving the office, as well as relating to social contacts.

6. Risk groups

The client decides in own responsibility if he belongs to one of the groups especially endangered by COVID-19 (age, health issues etc.) and thus should better change to video therapy.

I apologize for any inconveniences involved in these measures of protection and hygiene. Only if we all keep to these guidelines will a personal traffic psychological therapy in the office be possible. We have to get used to the fact that a way back to normality will happen step by step. Thus the presented safety measures will have to be followed for some time.

Video Therapy

Alternatively I am offering you video therapy by mobile phone or PC. For this, just call me. I can then mail you the required documents resp. a link with which you can access the online therapy. On an own web page you will find the corresponding detailed information. I will gladly talk you through the steps of installation on the phone, and I am also offering a non-binding test which can show if this kind of counseling is an option for you.

You can reach me by phone Monday to Thursday from 2.30 pm to 4 pm. You can also write an email to keep contact. I hope that in the foreseeable future a certain normalization of life will take place and I am glad that the presented safety measures are now enabling me to personally see you in my studio.

Weblinks

Bavaria:

Bayerische Staatsregierung (Gesundheitsministerium)
Verlängerung von Maßnahmen anlässlich der Corona-Pandemie vom 16. April 2020

Bayerische Staatskanzlei
Neunte Bayerische Infektionsschutzmaßnahmenverordnung vom 30. November 2020

Bayerische Staatsregierung
Bericht aus der Kabinettssitzung vom 6. Dezember 2020

Bayerische Staatsregierung (Innenministerium)
Informationen zum Coronavirus sowie FAQ zur Ausgangsbeschränkung

Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit
Übersicht der aktuellen Fallzahlen von Coronavirusinfektionen in Bayern

Germany:

Bundesregierung
Coronavirus in Deutschland – Aktuelles von der Bundesregierung

Bundesregierung sowie Regierungschefs der Länder
Beschluss vom 15.4.2020

Robert-Koch-Institut
Antworten auf häufig gestellte Fragen zum Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Robert-Koch-Institut
COVID-19-Dashboard (Bundesweite Fallzahlen)

International:

Our World in Data
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research

John Hopkins University & Medicine
Coronavirus Resource Center

World Health Organization
Daily Situation Reports

Take care!

Yours,

Dr. Matthias Junker

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