By Simon DuBois, Psychologist
I confess, I felt pretty disappointed when we had to close our doors at The Health Lodge and I had to rely on the internet and phone to keep connected with my patients. How was I going to give my patients what they really needed through my computer?
And this doubt was in the context of a very rough week when the COVID – 19 restriction took effect. We had to make some big changes at The Health Lodge and orientate towards a new way of working, while weathering the big shocks of change to everyday life. How will this all work? Will I have a job? Will I be able to support my family? How’s everyone out in the world coping?
Four weeks into this new world and the sky hasn’t fallen in on The Health Lodge’s head. And we have made the adjustments needed to keep in contact with our patients. We are a very adaptable lot.
And the biggest thing I’m surprised about is how well Telehealth works for me and my patients! I feel just as connected and capable of providing meaningful therapeutic support.
To make a Telehealth session work even better, I have identified a few things to have organised:
- Be prepared with water, a cup of tea, tissues and a comfortable spot.
- Make sure it’s as private as you need it to be. If that means home isn’t an option drive around the corner in the car or find a spot on the beach!
- Make sure you won’t be interrupted – let family or friends know, turn off your phone.
- Dial in to our Telehealth platform (Health direct) 10 minutes before. You’ll sit in a virtual waiting room where I will meet you. Then, we have every minute of the session!
- If you are using your phone to communicate, headphones with a built in speaker can really help with sound quality.
- Make sure you are confident about connection quality. Plug in with WiFi is best. WiFi with a good signal is also good and phone with a good signal is also OK.
The biggest challenge with Telehealth is the internet connection. But one way or another, we keep connected. Between a phone connection and the internet, we keep lines of communication open. I haven’t lost the challenge of keeping connected to a patient yet!
For those of you that want to continue with or start EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) treatment, it can be done through Telehealth!
Deirdre Middlehurst, Cara Wong and myself are very comfortable with Telehealth sessions now and keen to provide our therapeutic support in the socially distanced time.
The intensive experience of social distancing is bringing the best and sometimes the worst out in us. Some of us are stuck at home with family a bit more than we can bear. Some of us are finding ourselves alone more than any other time. Some of us are working even harder than before. And some of us don’t have any work at all. It’s a world that has more extremes in it while at the same time having lost its intense hectic pace! It’s a lot for us to get our head around.
Some of my patients are taking the extra time and space they have to really delve into the personal work they feel is necessary to address their health. And others are making the most of therapeutic contact to manage the new stressors they are experiencing.
If it feels like extra support can help you make the most of or get through this time, then have a think about using the psychology team at The Health Lodge. Psychological support through Telehealth works surprisingly well!
t: 02 6685 6445 f: 02 8024 2628
m: 0401 440 329