Remote psychological therapy
You should always speak to the paitent prior to the meeting in order to offer a continuum of care with the use of remote therapy.
If the family shows interest, they should be signed for agreement for remote therapy which will be sent to them. Since many families don't have access to printers at home and will have a hard time returning the forms, they should be given the option of verbally agreeing, and this should be documented in their file.
If the family shows interest, a therapy meeting will be made.
The therapist should contact the family, and ask if they are interested in a continuum of treament by remote therapy.
If the family shows interest, they must sign an agreement form for remote therapy which will be mailed to them (an option of signing electronicaly should be checked). Since many families don't have access to printers and will have a difficult time mailing the forms back, familes should be provided the option to verbally confirm , and this should be documented in the file.
Explain to the family that the meeting will only take place with a commitment form from the HMO to the institute. Since this will take place according to the Ministry of Health guidlines, if a commitment form isn't sent, the meeting should be documented. Afterwards, the topic will be brought up with the HMO.
If the family does indeed show interest, try to make specific times and dates - a fixed time and day when the therapy meeting will take place. Try to fix a time that will work for both the family and the therapist - seeing as some kids aren't in their regular education frameworks. Try to be flexible under and understand the circumstances.
The meeting should take place in a closed room, with as little disturbances as possible.
In the first steps with the change of setting it is important for the therapist to reach out, therfore the responsibility to make contact should be on the therapist. That not withstanding, once the sessions become normalized, it is important to give the family the responsibility of contacting the therapist, just as they did in meetings which took place in the institue.
The remote therapy session should be the same length as a regular session : 50 minutes.
The change of setting calls for a new set of rules for remote therapy:
Here are a few points which it is important to talk about:
Catch up on the general state of the family and children
Catch up on the child being treated
Make therapy goals:
It is important to reference stressful situation if they exist:
Ask how the parent is dealing with the stressful situation, while understanding how the delicate emotional state of the parent can effect a child's emotions and experiences.
Guide the parents on how to deal with stress:
Help build a personalized daily agenda for the child
Ask if the child is exposed to media and news outlets.
Reference the Corona crisis in a way and level that is suitable for a child.
Teach ways to relax and reduce stress.
Reference the current therapy goals:
Stay flexible when it comes to remote therapy, therapy goals couls change according to the content that the parents bring up.
It is important to get feedback from the parents every few sessions and to update the therapy goals.
Every meeting must be documented in the child's file. It should be documented that the session was conducted by remote therapy , and document the parents agreement.
Help the parents by summarizing the main points that came up during the session.
At the end of the meeting, remind the parents when the next meeting is scheduled.
Good luck !
Ms. Tali Zack, Director of Psychology
Ms. Yael Aharoni Mayer, Senior Psychologist
Child Development Institute, Ministry of Health, Southern District, Beer Sheva