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


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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.



Sylvester Ntomchukwu Madu

Department of Psychology,
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University,
Igbariam, Anambra State, Nigeria

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