The world is a different place due to Covid-19 and new measures have been implemented at the practice to ensure your healthy and safety and my own. I will continue to offer tele-health sessions (Zoom). Although this is a strange and different way to connect, I have found the therapeutic bond has only been strengthened through this ongoing connection. I have loved being invited into some of my younger client’s rooms and seeing all their special toys and items they cherish. I have felt my teenage clients are extremely resilient and perhaps more engaged than ever via this online platform. It is also a useful way to connect for intake interviews and feedback sessions. However, this is not a form of therapy with which everyone is comfortable. It appears as though the restrictions related to Covid-19 will be with us for many months, and we may be facing these challenges for many months ahead. Therefore, I feel it is important that I provide all clients with the option of either online (Zoom) or face to face sessions. I am lucky in that my therapy space is contained and we can manage foot traffic with ease. Furthermore, to ensure the safety of everyone should you wish to have face-to-face sessions the following have been implemented:
* A COVID-19 symptom screening checklist will be completed with all clients.
*All clients will be temperature tested.
*Clients are requested to remain in their car prior to their session or their children’s sessions.
*Practitioners will open and close all doors to minimise the contamination of surfaces.
*Practitioners will wear cloth masks and or face shields according to the clients comfort level and vulnerability.
*Seating will be placed further apart in the practitioners’ offices.
* Acrylic sneeze screens will be used when conducting psychometric assessments.
*Acrylic face shields will be used when conducting psychometric assessments should the need be deemed necessary. Furthermore, the assessor will handle all testing material. When necessary, materials handled by clients (reading sheets) will placed in a plastic sleeve and sanitised after use.
*Clients to provide their own stationery to limit contamination. The same will be for “tween” and teen clients who prefer art therapy. If practitioners are experiencing flu like symptoms, they will reschedule sessions and request that clients do the same.
*Should clients have come in contact with someone recently diagnosed with CoVid19, appointments will be rescheduled (for 14 days ahead) and practitioners will do the same.
*Clients are requested to sanitize their own and their children’s hands when entering and leaving the practice. Sanitizer is available in the waiting room.
*Reading matter has been removed from the reception area.
*New intake administration will be done through email only. No hand-to-hand paperwork.
*Payment: EFT or medical aid only. No cash exchanges to take place.
It appears that we are not going to be lifted from this challenging time soon. We need to be creative so that we can face these challenges and provide our children with skills in order to navigate these, and the multitude of new challenges which these changes will create. We will take hands (not physically :) ) and navigate this together, be it online or face to face.
I am looking forward to providing mental health services in these difficult times, however the reality and risks presented by the virus will always receive primary consideration and protocols might change as we learn more about the virus