12 Points About Telehealth

From Monday 30th March 2020, 12 Points Psychology will be moving all our sessions online until further notice.

We have done this for several reasons, the most of important of which, is to keep our clients, our staff and our clinicians healthy and safe so we can keep providing mental health support to as many people as possible.

And let’s face it, now more than ever, our mental health needs have to take priority!

Lots of people are a bit worried about how telehealth works, and it is a very different way to do a session with your clinician, but different most certainly doesn’t have to mean bad or scary!

So here’s 12 Points about telehealth to help ease the transition for you!

Rory and Yoyo having a chat online
  1. It’s not a brand new medium. A lot of us (as clinicians) already use telehealth platforms like Zoom and Coviu to conduct supervision sessions or training and check in with clients who may have moved far away, or who are housebound.
  2. Telehealth can be conducted via an online platform that includes a video link (so you can see each other as you talk) OR via phone.
  3. You’ll get used to it faster than you’d think! You know how reality tv stars always complain about how they’re portrayed? The question most of us often then ask is, “Did they not know there were cameras there?” And the truth is, just like the cameras in a MAFS honeymoon suite, the device between you and your clinician quickly disappears and you’ll be chatting like you’re in the same room before you know it.
  4. Interruptions can happen, but not too much more often than in face-to-face sessions. We’ve had gardeners knocking on windows, kids playing bowls down the hallways and dogs barking (or in one memorable instance – throwing up!) in face-to-face sessions; and they all well and truly interupted the flow of the session! So yes, there will sometimes be connection problems with your telehealth session, but nothing that can’t be resolved and nothing that we don’t have contigency plans for.
  5. Accessing the video sessions is really easy. Have a look at the video here to check out just how straightforward the process is.
  6. The Australian government has expanded the available telehealth item numbers so that we can use Medicare-rebateable sessions online for those with a valid Mental Health Care Plan (and you no longer have to meet any special criteria to access those sessions).
  7. Kids actually engage really well online (they’re more used to it than most of us!) and moving to telehealth gives us a chance to see them in action at home, as well as more of a chance to focus on parent-child interaction work.
  8. I can’t wait to learn more about my client’s and what’s important to them. Assuming they’re ok with it, I’m going to ask each of my clients to start their sessions in the room in the house they like the best or to grab their favourite item from their home. I’m also really looking forward to finally getting to meet so many of my client’s pets!
  9. You can do your session in your own home! In your PJs if you want! I mean I honestly wonder how many people are going to want to go back to face-to-face after this for that reason alone!
  10. Rory is going to miss licking people terribly, but she’s being very stoic and we’re coming up with new and creative ways to integrate the animals into online sessions (see the pic with Rory and YoYo having a chat).
  11. You can access your sessions via laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone, so you have a lot of freedom!
  12. None of us are good with change – I devote whole sessions to why change is so hard for us and discussing all the ways our brains will try and resist it! So it’s fine to be nervous and anxious about change, but nobody ever did anything brave without feeling some fear first! So let’s take that leap together! Because we really are all in this together.

I really am incredibly grateful that we have this option open to us. I would hate to have to stop working with my clients at this most horrible of times and thank goodness we have the technology available to do this!

Copy of dr jersey 2

So before your first session make sure:

  • you’re somewhere quiet and private (or as private as it’s possible to be if you’re self-isolating with kids – the car could be good!),
  • your device is fully charged,
  • your internet connection is good (don’t do the session at the far end of the house if the wifi signal is no good there),
  • you’ve got a cup of coffee/glass of water/pint of ice cream/ box of tissues
  • you’ve got a set of headphones handy, just in case you want to up the privacy quotient a little!

and then, we’ll see you online!

Take care everyone!

Danielle Graber
Clinical Psychologist & Director
12 Points Psychology