Challenges Facing Psychotherapists In Africa In The Hit Of The Novel Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) Global Pandemic

Sylvester Ntomchukwu Madu, Valentine Ucheagwu


To fully understand the challenges facing psychotherapists in Africa in the hit of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic, the paper visited/reflected the origin and transmission of the virus, the global epidemiology, and the resultant adoption of international and national lockdown limiting heavily movements of people and goods to prevent further spread of the virus. The lockdown, however, has seriously affected the interpersonal relationships and freedom of gathering. It is also expected that it will have adverse mental and psychological effects leading to behavioural, emotional, social/family problems. Increased incidence of stress reactivity and anxiety, reality denial, depression, isolation, loneliness and lack of social support, undesirable marital adjustment and irritability, trauma, self-injurious behaviours like suicidal ideation and drug addiction, unhealthy eating behaviours and resultant increase in weight, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, increased neuropsychological symptoms, are some of the expected adverse effects of the lockdown. The ability to adequately address all these anticipated problems pose a big challenge to the few qualified psychotherapists in Africa. There are also very few institutions for the training of psychotherapist in Africa south of Sahara. The speed with which the virus is spreading also calls for short-term acquisition of hands-on psychotherapeutic skills. African governments are therefore called upon to address the above-mentioned shortage as a matter of urgency. The few psychotherapists available in Africa are also called upon to look into the above psychologically unhealthy situation from the point of view of crisis intervention.


Corona virus (COVID-19), Pandemic, Challenges, Psychotherapists, Africa.

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