BACKGROUND: Societal measures in context of the COVID-19 outbreak forced us to transform our schema therapy based day-treatment for older adults with chronic affective disorders and personality problems into an online program. The objective of this paper is to present first impressions of this transformation.
METHODS: Using over-the-phone instructions initially, all patients were able to participate with the online therapy program. To reduce screen-time for patients, the nonverbal therapies were shortened. Four patients, aged 64-70 years, started our online program.
RESULTS: Therapists were positive about the online capabilities and resilience of patients to adapt to the new situation. Prejudices on limited effectiveness of online psychotherapy were counteracted. Sending homework by email and mail seems to facilitate therapy adherence. Nonverbal therapy could be important to stimulate the online group process.
CONCLUSION: We were positively surprised by the online capabilities of our geriatric mental healthcare patients and encourage further formal effectiveness studies.