During this time of crisis, more and more counsellors are moving their practices to a remote setting. This can be confusing for parents, who are used to having in-person resources available for their children. This post comprises frequently asked questions that parents may have about Telehealth therapy.
What does art or play therapy over video look like?
The main difference is, of course, that your child and I will not be in the same physical space. Art and play are still very possible, but instead of playing with the same game, or working on the same project, your child and I will be doing separate projects. For example, I may ask that a parent gives their child clay for a remote session. In this case, I would also bring my own clay into the session, and your child and I would work on our projects through the screen as we talk. I might ask your child to mould an animal that represents them and then show it to me. In order to build rapport and connection, I would make my own clay animal and show it to your child in return.
Are there any reasons I should NOT seek remote therapy?
If you are feeling very isolated due to the pandemic or lack a support system, I would recommend in-person sessions in order to have that human connection that you may not be getting elsewhere. If you find it difficult to commit to therapy, going in to a counsellor's office can also increase your commitment level.
Are children receptive to online therapy?
From what I've found, yes! Children nowadays are sometimes even more comfortable speaking to someone over a screen (of course, you may see this as positive or negative). I have done both in-person and video sessions with children, and one thing I've noticed is that children are often less shy over video and are more willing to talk.
Is remote therapy as effective as in-person therapy?
As yet, there is no clear answer to this question. Like many things, there are pros and cons to each. It can be easier to create a bond between counsellor and client during in-person sessions, which in turn can help effect change. However, research has shown that a skilled practitioner can still build deep rapport over phone and video. Other conveniences of remote therapy include not having to travel to an office, not having to find child care, and being able to wear what you want!
Read more about the pros and cons of Telehealth counselling at https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/how-do-life/202001/in-person-vs-remote-counseling