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      FACE TO FACE

 or 

ONLINE?

In order to provide continuity to my clients therapeutic process I have adapted to online methods of communication as we are all having to do to stay in contact with loved ones. Whilst this is not always ideal it does still provide the valuable help at a time that it is needed and brings huge benefit and success.

 

Due to the reduction of lockdown restrictions I am now in a position that I can offer more face to face sessions while continuing with online video sessions. Each case is being assessed for their individual needs with various factors being taken into consideration.

 

People may have their preferences as to how they want to attend but the following chart illustrates what needs to be considered. This may help you to start thinking about what may be best for you. If you are already sure then please read the additional precautions and procedures detailed further on.

I do not want anybody to feel they cannot access the counsellor of their choice.
If you are still unsure or have any concerns please contact me to discuss your options. 

PROCEDURES FOR SEEING CLIENTS IN PERSON

 

PRECUATIONS I AM TAKING TO PROTECT MY CLIENTS

  • In my personal life I am abiding by the legal requirements of lockdown, social distancing and protective measures where required.

 

  • Due to the nature of our work together I am choosing not to wear PPE or facemasks. I believe the precautions in place are sufficient to limit the spreading of the virus.

 

 

PRIOR TO ATTENDING

  • It is both your responsibility and mine to ensure that we are doing our utmost to prevent contracting the COVID virus .

 

  • If you are knowingly breaching the government rules and putting yourself at risk of contamination you will be unable to meet with me face to face.

    • You need to be honest with me if this is the case so that I can protect myself and other clients.

    • I will not report any disclosure of this kind unless I deemed it a serious risk to others in accordance with our original agreement.

    • We will revert back to online sessions until you can assure me you are following the guidelines.

 

  • If you are not sure if you are breaching the rules but have been active within the public domain beyond essential activities’ please provide details. The more information you provide the more I can make an informed risk assessment as to whether you can attend in person.

 

  • Whilst I appreciate for your mental health these activities need to be pursued I have to consider the complications this may create in terms of track and trace if COVID came into my practice.

 

  • In accordance with the confidentiality clauses of our agreement, in the event that a client has contracted the virus and had been in contact with me I deem it my responsibility to report the names of all the clients I have been in direct contact with to the relevant authorities. I would however not disclose anything regarding the nature of our relationship.

 

  • I will also have to inform all my face to face client that I have had contact with another client with the virus and so this may require you to have to inform those close to you of our meeting which you may have been withholding from them.

 

  • If you have any known symptoms of COVID you will be unable to meet with me face to face.

    • Follow the NHS guidelines to ensure you are getting the correct treatment and possible testing.

    • Keep me updated as to any tests or symptoms you are experiencing.

    • If you are still well enough we can continue with online sessions

    • In the case of COVID only I will waiver the reservation fee and will hold your session slot open until you are well enough. However we will need to remain in discussion about how long you may need or if we need to put therapy on hold.

 

ATTENDING THERAPY

  • Please feel free to bring your own refreshments.

  • I am unable to provide water to clients in order to reduce any opportunity of transmission of the virus between drinking vessels.

 

  • Please avoid bringing objects into the room where possible apart from car keys and a drink.

    • The area is safe enough to keep things in the car so please refrain from bringing in mobile phones or handbags that may contaminate the therapy room.

    • Place your keys either in a pocket beforehand, on your lap during the session or on the plastic tissue dispenser top where the surface can be cleaned.

 

  • Please avoid entering the lobby until 1 minute before your session time

  • This is to avoid…

    • Meeting other clients leaving the practice.

    • Meeting me if I may have passed through to use the bathroom.

 

  • I will be wiping the front door handle between clients but you may want to take your own precautions.

 

  • Please either use your own or the provided hands-free hand sanitiser situated by the front door before entering the therapy room.

 

  • I will open the therapy room door as usual to receive you at which point I can take your temperature with an infrared thermometer if you would like.

    • In the event your temperature is above 37.80c you will not be able to enter the room.

    • We can revert back to an online session if possible from your car or if you can return home in a short time.

    • If the session has to be cancelled there will still be a charge. It is initially your responsibility to ensure you are coming without symptoms beforehand.

 

  • On entering I will pull the door open and step as far back as I can from it. Please enter and walk as far away from me as possible and head straight towards the sofa.

 

  • I am asking that all clients sit on the sofa to the right that faces the window.

            This is to avoid;

  • A cross over of our paths

  • Only one sofa requiring treatment

  • Ensuring I remain uncontaminated to protect all of my clients.

 

  • Whilst I do not insist on you using facemasks you may wear one if you feel more comfortable.

 

  • It is advisable you take a tissue at the beginning of the session in the event you may cough or sneeze. If you do you, please cough into the tissue and throw it into the bin by the chair to prevent any air-born germs. You may then choose to use the hand sanitiser provided.

 

  • Tissues are still provided but in a wipeable plastic box. Please try to remove the tissue rather than lift the box where possible but they will be wiped down regularly or if touched.

 

  • On leaving the session I will take the lead in opening the door for you and you can then walk widely past me to leave.

 

  • Whilst there is a lack of any significant research that suggests the virus can be transmitted via fabrics I will spray the sofa with an all-in-one disinfectant spray between each clients as a precaution.

 

Reverting to online in the event of a 2nd wave

  • If there is a second wave and restrictions are made tighter you will need to be prepared to revert to online sessions. This may feel disruptive so it is important to also consider this when thinking about whether to come back in person or not.

 

ATTENDING THERAPY IN PERSON

What I have put in place is based on personal consideration and also guided by the professional ethical standards of the BPS and HCPC in which I abide by.

 

I have a duty of care to ensure the safety of my clients foremost, myself as therapist so I can provide best practice and then the safety of parties beyond that of myself and the client.  Therefore I am taking into consideration the need to minimise any chance of transmission of the virus within and beyond the therapy room and to be able to track and trace easily between clients if one of my clients were to present with symptoms.

 

Please consider what I have put in place and whether you feel comfortable with this enough to attend therapy sessions in person.

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ATTENDING THERAPY ONLINE

It may not always be possible to attend sessions in person and so video platforms can offer an opportunity  for therapy to reach to a wider range of people.

  • Hectic lifestyles involving multi-tasking work and home life, particularly with the onset of home schooling.

  • Lack of transport to travel

  • Restricted by mental issues that require the help.

  • Living remotely to any services.

  • No suitable services in your area

This said, it is important that you can prioritise your mental health by finding the time to travel to sessions as this can be hugely beneficial in helping you to step away from a hectic home space or the confines and boredom of your lockdown environment.

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Keyboard and Mouse

Whilst already trained and experienced in providing online and telephone counselling I have completed the BACP refresher course in the light of having to revert to online therapy as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Complete end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption

Whilst ZOOM is US based, it offers complete end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption, meeting US's PIPEDA/PHIPA compliance and therefore leaving me satisfied that it meets ICO and GDPR compliancy and therefore meets with HCPC and BPS ethical guidelines.

Please visit https://www.zoom.us/healthcare for further information.

SECURE VIDEO CALLING

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CAN YOU PROVIDE A SUITABLE ENVIROMENT FOR ONLINE THERAPY?

Online Therapy is only beneficial if you can mentally and physically shut out the demands of the outside world in order to focus entirely on your own world.

 WHEN TO DO ONLINE THERAPY

  • Discuss with the therapist when you can provide yourself a regular time where you will not be distracted by the likes of partners, children, pets, TV’s, telephones etc. Utilise a time when those in the home are out on regular activities, especially children who it can be hard to explain what it is you are doing and why they can’t be involved. Alternatively ensure there are adults who will ensure the children are occupied and will not disturb you.

 

 CREATING A SECURE SPACE

  • Maybe take a laptop or phone into a bedroom or quiet room. Consider that this room may  remind you of your therapy so consider thoughtfully where this will be.

  • Ask those around you not to disturb you until you come back out.

  • Put a sign on the door if necessary, to remind others.

  • Whilst ensuring pets disturb you as little as possible it is not always possible. Ensure dogs are fed, walked and toileted. If locking a pet out of the room will cause more disturbance, then allow them their usual free reign. This way they are more likely to settle somewhere, even if this may be your lap.

 

PREPARING YOURSELF

  • Try and set up your seating and device so you are comfortable.

  • Try and show as much of your body as possible, not just showing your head and shoulders.  Body language plays an important in therapy and the more we can see of each other the closer the experience will be of face to face therapy.

  • Try and place your device at eye level rather than looking down at the screen.

  • Place your device onto something secure so are you free to use your arms and hands at will.

  • You may prefer to use headphones so that you can hear easily whilst not being too close to the screen. It can also help shut out any external noises that may disturb you.

 

SETTING UP YOUR DEVICE

  • Ensure your device is fully charged and plugged into a power supply.

  • Turn off notifications or set ‘do not disturb’ on your device.

  • Turn off other messenger services, turn off their notifications or show yourself as offline so as not to be interrupted by others trying to reach you.

  • You may still receive message notifications while online but attempt to ignore these during therapy.

  • Leave devices not being used, such as mobile phones and smart watches in another room or put on silent as you would in face to face therapy.

  • If necessary, unplug your home phone so as not to receive calls and ignore any knocks at the front door during this time.

 

  • Unlike face to face therapy it may be easy to escape online therapy when it gets difficult and going offline may be tempting. In the case that you may do this (and allowing for technical difficulties) I will remain available for 5 minutes from disconnection. After this time the session will be terminated and you will need to initiate any further bookings.

For the work of SPECTRUM Expression please visit www.spectrumexpression.com

 

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 (+44) 7771474830  julie.raworth@hotmail.co.uk