Online Counselling 2020
I know that each day we wake up to news updates and an ever growing list of changes we are making in our lives. It can bring up a lot of fear, anxiety and even grief as plans are cancelled, social distancing happens and daily routines are completely shifted.
I decided on March 25th to make the shift to online/virtual sessions for the health and well-being of my clients and their loved ones, myself and my loved ones and the greater health of our society. A day later the government put into place Public Health Ordinance Ch. 12 No. 4 under section 105 of the Public Health Ordinance, i.e., the 14-day restriction of non-essential services and workers, aka - "lock-down" and simply stay home. Counselling/Mental Health falls under "Health" and as such local psychologists and counsellors are "essential services". My practice is open.
As of Monday 30th March, all sessions will be moved to virtual sessions. We will no longer meet in my office. This is a temporary measure as the CoVid-19 pandemic will end, but until we have a proper handle on it: I do not know when I will return to in-office, face-to-face sessions at this time.
For online/virtual sessions you will need to download an app known as Vsee Messenger which is available for Android, iOS and Windows. Check your App Store or Google Play for your mobile device and this site for your laptop/desktop: https://my.vsee.com/download
Vsee is a telehealth application that is patient portability compliant, secure and used by NASA, Shell, GE and others. I will not be using Zoom, Facebook, Instagram or Skype as they are not compliant or secure for telehealth services.
Research shows that virtual sessions is an effective form of psychotherapy.
ALL clients must complete and return to me this updated contract (PDF) for the provision of services via telehealth
You will need to find a space if at all possible that is quiet, free from distractions or interruptions and where you feel comfortable to share.
If you have a headset that will also help with reducing noise and distraction. Many people prefer video as we can see each other’s faces and expressions
Close any open browsers, pause/stop any background programs from running to have a hopefully glitch-free session
Hardwire into the Internet if at all possible
Do your best to create a space where you are front-lit, and it is easy for me to see you and your expression
Consider what is viewable behind you on screen - for your own personal reasons
You may want to use your blue light filtering program as you would be spending extra time online
I will still be in my office-space as usual
You can continue to book your sessions as per usual using the scheduling system
If you need extra privacy, you may want to download a white-noise or brown-noise app to a different device and place by the door or window where you feel you need.
As to payment, online banking is best and I much prefer using my Royal Bank of Canada account. Payment is as follows:
Royal Bank of Canada
Acct# 1000 9717 298 8726
High Street, San Fernando Branch
If you need another payment option, do let me know.
When you need Bach remedies, supplements and such that will be a simple collection.
I look forward to seeing you soon,