In response to the most recent Government advice and in order to protect our clients, our employees and NHS capacity, Brooke House has suspended normal services for now and our employees are all working from home. The Health and Wellbeing Centre in Colebrooke Park is closed and we are offering a portfolio of services remotely, including Talking Therapy. We have provided our Associate Talking Therapists with some guidance on how to maintain therapy remotely either by telephone or using an online platform.
There is good evidence that therapy can be effectively delivered via digital means (telephone, video etc.) and it is possible to build up a strong relationship with your therapist using these methods.
With any form of remote therapy there are some practical considerations to bear in mind:
- Your therapist will ensure the method you use is secure. Social media sites are not advised.
- Agree with your therapist the method you prefer.
- Your therapist will obtain and document informed consent reiterating the boundaries of confidentiality.
- You should pre-agree appointment times and stick to the maximum 60-minute session. Shorter sessions may also be appropriate at times.
- Make an explicit agreement that neither you nor your therapist will record the session.
- Have a ‘dry run’ with any software to ensure it works on your laptop/computer and test any necessary camera/microphone /speaker. Make sure the camera is at eye level.
- Close any unnecessary applications that may slow down your connection
- Have a ‘pre-therapy’ telephone conversation with your therapist to cover the practicalities and any changes to contracting.
- Ensure where you can that you are in a comfortable, private and quiet place where you will not be interrupted or overheard. Have tissues and a glass of water to hand.
- Do not have a window behind you and reduce glare from bright objects in the background.
- Consider using earbuds that come with mobile phones or headphones as this will improve confidentiality and sound quality.
- Agree beforehand what you will both do if the session is interrupted either by other people or by loss of connectivity.
- Your therapist will spend the first few minutes of the first session ensuring you are comfortable with the process and that everything is working.
- During the session your therapist will check in with you to ensure that you are still comfortable with the process. They may want to use email and/or screen sharing facilities to share information and resources.
- After the session, your therapist will capture their usual clinical notes and record whether the session was delivered via telephone or a video platform.
- In order to undertake risk assessment and management as normal, your therapist may ask where you are and who is in the vicinity during sessions. They will also agree with you a plan as to what to do if you terminate the session abruptly after a risk disclosure. Your therapist will also likely ask you to confirm that you have received any emails providing safety plans or crisis contacts.
For more information about the current pandemic and how to look after you health and wellbeing please check out the links below: