With the impact of COVID-19 having resulted in restrictions of movement and lock-downs in many countries, South African President, Cyril Ramaposa, announced on 23 March 2020 that South Africa will go into lock-down at midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020. South Africans are going to have to adapt to our new “normal” – at least for the time being.
Online Therapy is a platform that will allow continued mental health support through online Psychotherapy, Play Therapy, Parental Guidance and even Group Therapy. This support is not limited to existing clients as intake interviews can also be conducted online. I have made the decision to move my practice online, therefore, allowing greater access to therapy and the support it provides in a time where many may feel heightened anxiety, depression and other mental health difficulties.
What does this mean for “traditional” Therapy?
This means that you and your child(ren) will still have access to therapeutic support from your home. As we are no longer able to engage in face-to-face meetings due to lock-down restrictions for the time being, online therapy can be used as an interim measure to ensure that you and your family have access to support from a trained professional. This means that when restrictions are lifted, online therapy can continue if you so wish.
What do you need to engage in Online Therapy?
- A secure and stable Internet connection.
- A computer/laptop (tablets/i-pads and cell phones can also be used).
- Earphones/headphones – preferably with a wire connection rather than Bluetooth for better sound quality and increased privacy.
- A private space where interruptions ideally will not occur (e.g. your bedroom, living room, home office/study) – this may be challenging where siblings are at home.
- A comfortable space for the duration of the session.
- A stable surface to place your screen on – moving screens can be disconcerting and disruptive for both the therapist and the client.
- All other technology to be switched off to eliminate interruptions.
- If you are using a computer, laptop, i-pad or device with programmes/games running on it, please log out of these programmes and only have the therapy programme open.
- Stationary, art supplies, etc. which will be communicated ahead of the session.
What does Online Therapy look like?
Sessions will be conducted online through a secure platform. Access to this platform will be through a secure link sent to you before a session. Although this may feel different to in-person sessions, through video technology, it is possible to have live face-to-face sessions. With easy access to technology, many people will feel comfortable moving over to communicating using a screen.
I may send through content ahead of or during a session, or ask you to create or draw during our sessions. Online interactive games may also be utilised. The medium utilised during sessions will depend on where we are in our therapeutic process, and what work we may currently be busy with. As with face-to-face sessions, we will still have goals for therapy and will continue to work towards these. Some sessions may require parents to assist where younger children are engaging in tele-play therapy.
Is Online Therapy safe?
Online therapy will only be conducted through a secure platform where access is granted via a password and link sent to you ahead of the session. No one else will have access to the link. The software used to conduct online therapy is HIPAA compliant as well as adheres to the POPI Act. Your and your child(ren)’s information will therefore remain confidential and only I will have access to sessions and notes.
How to Book an Appointment
Booking an appointment can be done through contacting me via email (email@example.com) or via phone (076 562 8271). [Please note that telephonic contact may not always be answered immediately as I may be in sessions at the time of your call. Please leave a message or send a WhatsApp message so that I can return your call.] Once an appointment has been scheduled, the following documentation will be emailed:
- Guidelines for the process
- Consent Form
- Assent Form (for children 12 to 18 years old)
How to pay for an Appointment
Appointments will be billed per session. Payment can be made via EFT (Banking details will reflect on the session invoice).
Contact Details for Megan Clerk
Cell: 076 562 8271
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Fax: 086 236 7457
Address: 20 Georgian Crescent East, Hampton Office Park, Highbury House, 1st Floor, Bryanston, 2191