Telehealth Session Tips for a Great Session
With increased limits placed on interactions and social distancing measures being strictly enforced, telehealth services have become imperative. During periods of uncertainty, decreased stability and lack of control, everyone’s stress, anxiety and panic iincreases. This places even more importance on increasing the access to mental health services, and one of those ways is through video and phone sessions. The Psych Professionals have increased our video sessions by up to 60% of our Loganholme office alone over the past two weeks! We have had some wonderful feedback from clients about their experiences of telehealth so we thought it might be helpful to provide some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your sessions.
Before the session
Make sure your device is charged
There is nothing worse that getting 10 minutes into your session and realising your phone, laptop or tablet is about to go flat! This results in an interruption of ‘flow’ and can throw you off (as well as losing valuable time from your session). This is also equally important for sessions with kids, make sure the device they are using is all set and ready to go.
Make sure you have access to the link and are confident in accessing your session
Our Client Relationships Team are on hand to take you through the process of accessing your session well before – if that is what you need. Please feel free to give them a call if you have any questions or concerns and they will run through it with you. We have also made a little video you can access here which shows you exactly what you need to do.
Do you need headphones?
While the video sessions are usually really great, they are subject to your environment. If you know you are going to be in a noisy environment, or there will be other people around, it may be a good idea to use headphones. This will work to block out any extra noise, and also to keep what your clinician is saying between you and them. Headphones can be especially helpful if you have kids around. This way you can be sure you can still listen to your clinician without having to worry about little ears.
Do you have a place to do your session?
This is an incredibly important one. WHERE are you going to do your session? Do you have an office? A bedroom? The lounge? If you live by yourself, this may be an easy one for you. However if you have housemates or family members living with you, you may want to put a little bit of time into thinking where the best place to have your session will be. Do you need to put a sign on the door to ensure you are not disturbed? Do you need to set the kids up with activities to keep them occupied? Or do you need to sit the kids down and explain that Brother X is having his session and is not to be disturbed?
Make notes of anything you want to discuss.
Prior to your face-to-face session, you would normally have a think about what it was you wanted to go through that session (even if it was just while you were in the waiting room!). Make sure you give yourself time to reflect on the time since your last session and find out what the priorities are. This will ensure you are getting as much value as possible from your session.
Set yourself up.
This may sound silly, but it actually makes a big difference! Making sure you have a drink, a notepad, paper and pen and anything else you may need to run the session will ensure you are well prepared and have a seamless experience. For appointments with children, this may mean they have some things close by to play with – for example Lego – while they are chatting with their clinician.
During your session
Write things down.
Feel free to take notes. If there is something that your clinician says during your session – write it down to remember it later. Feel free to create some affirmations to pin on your wall after your session, or do up a list of the top three things to work on that week.
Take your clinician on a tour
One of the really cool things about video sessions, is that your clinician can now see your space and incorporate that into therapy. If appropriate (and if you feel comfortable) take your clinician on a tour of your space, what your garden looks like (or lack of), the places that stress you out the most, the places that make you feel good. Your clinician will then be able to make best use of these and it may even end up being their basis of a strategy for you!
After your session
Take time out to reflect and settle.
After your face to face sessions, you pay, walk out the door and then drive home / back to work or school. It is really important that, if you are able, you put some time aside after your home sessions as well. Look over the notes you made or any homework you have discussed with your clinician. Take a small 10 minute break and have a drink, walk outside or wash your face. This will help you to process and separate from your session and consciously move back into your normal everyday life. For kids, it may be helpful to either give them some alone time after their session, or chat to them about their session. If you would like more information about this, please check in with your clinician.
The Most Important Thing…
At the end of the day, you don’t have to do ANY of these things and you will still enjoy and benefit from your telehealth sessions. The MOST important thing is that you attend!! Your clinician will guide you through, support you to get used to the systems and processes and help you with any information you need. However, if you are able, the above tips will be able to support you to feel more relaxed and prepared for your appointment.
The Psych Professionals are now offering telehealth sessions in the form of video and phone appointments. To book your appointment, contact us on 3801 1772 (Loganholme) or 3823 2230 (Cleveland) or access the contact form on our website here.