Virtual counselling is now available as tele-play therapy for children and teens and phone and video counselling for adults and families.
What is TeleMental Health?
Tele-mental health is the practice of delivering clinical health care services via technology assisted media or other electronic means between a practitioner and a client who are located in two different locations.
Services are delivered via phone or online video platforms. Phone counselling is easy, convenient, and portable. Using the phone clients can have sessions in their car, a closed office at work, or in a room at home, or while going for a walk outside. Phone counselling is protected against the difficulties of inconsistent internet connections. Video counselling requires a strong internet connection but allow for both client and counsellor to see each other.
At Help for Families Canada the online platforms used are Zoom Cloud Meeting and Doxyme.
History of E-Counselling
Tania has been offering e-counselling to adults for a number of years, prior to COVID. Since COVID we have expanded our services to reach young children with a form of play therapy now being terms “teleplay therapy”. Tania has received specialised training and supervision specific to adapting play therapy to the virtual setting.
Tele-Play Therapy -Children & Teens
Children and youth today are familiar and comfortable with technology. They are adaptable to the idea of receiving counselling via phone or text messaging or video outlets.
Some of the traditional play therapy activities which are adapted for tele-play therapy include game playing, storytelling, arts and crafts, dramatic play using puppets, stuffed toys, or toy figures, and music and movement play. Some additional tools include apps, online games, and YouTube videos.
The counsellor and child or teen may share this play experience in a few ways.
- The therapist has the materials and receives then acts out the instructions for play from the child.
- Both the therapist and the child have access to materials in their own spaces and play together across their devices or in a shared virtual space
- The child has the materials and the therapist observes and guides their play while observing the child’s play on-screen.
Virtual Couples Therapy & Adult E-Mental Health
Virtual couples and family counselling is delivered only via online video at Help for Families Canada because paying attention to the dynamics of multiple persons is more effective with the visual interaction.
Adult individual remote therapy is available in both phone or video formats.
Considerations for Phone & Online Counselling
- Clients should be a resident of Alberta or other Canadian provinces. International clients may seek services if license permits.
- Payment for e-counselling may involve electronic payments systems such as E-transfer or Paypal. (We do not accept credit cards).
- Most insurance companies will cover e-mental health. Please call your insurance provider to find out the details of your contract.
- Privacy is still a necessary condition. Client will need to be in a safe and private place to talk about their concerns.
- The ethics of confidentiality still applies to online counselling. Your counsellor is professionally bound to protect the privacy. Being online does carry some risk for which your counsellor or Help for Families Canada is not liable. However, confidentiality can be broken however to protect the safety of the client or a vulnerable child.
- Appointments for online counselling sessions are treated with high regard. Fees may be charged for late cancellations or failure to attend. Clients are asked to contact their counsellor in advance to reschedule or cancel an appointment.