'Someone to Talk to': A Short-Term Tele-Therapy Intervention with Older People during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Kopel Eliezer, Cigal Knei-Paz, Lilach Zvi, Itiya Schnall, Tamar Gitlitz, Belle Gavriel-Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and its concomitant social isolation have affected older citizens more than any other sector of the population. This article describes the theoretical and practical principles of a short-term tele-therapy intervention model developed and implemented as a pilot project during the Coronavirus pandemic to support older residents of the community, who faced a variety of needs stemming from the lockdowns and social isolation. The intervention was developed and directed in collaboration with faculty members from a university school of social work and social workers from the municipal social services in Israel, and was conducted by first year social work students as part of their first field experience. This intervention combined Perlman's model of problem solving, a telephone crisis intervention model and a strengths-based approach. Participants and students indicated that they benefitted from the programme and felt that the therapeutic relationships were meaningful. These outcomes and reports suggest that this type of intervention is successful and can be applied to older people during other crises or in other populations, communities and countries as part of the field experience of social work students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2383
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.


  • Coronavirus pandemic
  • crisis
  • older people
  • short-term telephone intervention
  • social work students


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