– Written by Gary, Lead Psychotherapist
The next update to our blog with regards to Remote Sessions is the consideration of Technology.
As discussed last time firstly you need to agree on a safe and appropriate location. Once this has been established you can move onto which technology you will use to conduct the session.
Nowadays, most young people will have access to a smart phone and/or a laptop or tablet. Whilst professionals are more likely to have dedicated hardware for the purpose of conducting the session, the young people themselves will probably be using their own personal device, or if not the device of a family member.
So whatever the hardware and software choice is, you want to make sure that during the course of the session the young person is not likely to be interrupted by messages, emails or phone calls on their device. This applies both to the software you choose to conduct the session on, and other software that is currently on the device being used.
This is of course also a consideration for the therapist themselves.
Another consideration is access to power. You want to avoid the possibility of the session ending abruptly at a critical point because either yours, or the device being used by the young person has run out of battery.
On top of that is the strength of signal, whether that is WiFi for Video calling, or regular phone signal for Telephone sessions. Again the session being disrupted through breaks in signal are disruptive and unhelpful. So is there an optimum location where this is the case? This may not be their location of choice, so can a second location be agreed, or can the router be moved or any hardware adjusted to improve the signal?
Some clients also choose to use external hardware such as headphones and microphone, so ensuring that these are all in working order is critical.
One more addition to our way of practicing is to send a message to the young person just before the session starts to ensure they are ready before we start the remote session. Remember, we will be entering their private and personal space via the technology and so doing it this ways allows the young person to invite us in to this space when they are ready to do so.
At wïsh we have found it important to discuss these considerations in our introduction session with young people to help ensure a smoother and more contained experience for all once the session begins.
Next up: Safeguarding