What is Teleplay Therapy?
“In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible and safe as online banking,”American Telemedicine Association CEO, Jonathan Linkous, 2015.
Are you looking for a way to support your children, or the children you work with, while schools are closed and you have been able to see more of their needs in close quarters? Even though I knew some colleagues in the US used Telehealth and worked with families using their computer, I was still initially resistant to Teleplay therapy in March 2020. However, after training and upskilling myself, by the summer I could see the massive benefits of offering Teleplay Therapy to families and organisations. Additionally, in the last year I have benefited from attending parenting courses, Alpha and support groups online, as well as fitness classes so I know first-hand the variety of experiences that we are all becoming familiar with.
In the last academic term, those of us who had been trained in and offering Teleplay Therapy, were able to switch between mediums when class isolations affected those who had been having (socially distanced) face-to-face therapy in the Autumn 2020 term.
Teleplay therapy won’t work for every family – you need to have a good connection to the internet, technology to access the online platform used and a confidential space for the child to work from. I have found the best results with families who are able to meet with a practitioner first and develop a kit of toys to only be used for the Teleplay sessions. There are multiple games and play facilitated using the internet and platform, too.As a peripatetic Play Therapist, I normally pack up my car with lots of toys, head to a school and re-arrange whatever room I have been given – which must stay the same for consistency and then see a number of children. By the afternoon, I may repeat that in a different school or organisation. With the arrival of Teleplay Therapy, this is flipped. The therapist comes to the child via a screen and secure platform, allowing for those children who are clinically extremely vulnerable and/or schools who no longer have space to offer for therapy, to still get the benefits of Play Therapy.
It is likely, as with most things in the pandemic, that telehealth would have been inevitable in the future but has been expedited to start sooner. Please don’t let that think that we are cutting corners in safeguarding and keeping data private. Today is ‘Data Privacy Day 2021’ and I wanted to highlight how our current processes keep data safe.
From initial enquiry to finishing work, we keep your data in line with data protection policies including the well loved GDPR. Whilst working online, our contracts and consent forms are no longer paper based and adhere to the strictest policies – see the extract from our intake paperwork: These details will be stored on Voyage of Hope Therapy Services Ltd’s encrypted and password protected online database and personal server. This server is backed up every evening. During the assessments, the therapist will write down notes about your child’s family history and any medical needs. The therapist will write a running record of the sessions so that they can remember when meetings and sessions took place and the themes of your child’s play. The Therapist will also write their own thoughts and reflections (‘process notes’) so that the therapist can think about your child and talk to their supervisor about how best to help your child. From time to time, the therapist may be asked to write a summary report about your child’s play therapy so that other professionals know about the support you child has received. How Voyage of Hope Therapy Services Ltd keeps your data secure Voyage of Hope Therapy Services Ltd will store your contact details on our encrypted and password protected online database and server. Additionally, the therapist will store your contact details on their work phone. Voyage of Hope Therapy Services Ltd have ensured that their consultants have a lock on their phones. You will appear in the therapist’s contacts list as your child’s initials only. Handwritten notes are stored in a locked filing cabinet at either in the therapist’s home or at the host school. Electronic records and reports will be stored in password protected Word documents on the therapist’s computer and backed up to Voyage of Hope Therapy Services Ltd’s encrypted and password protected online database and server. All electronic equipment is password protected. When the therapist is travelling with printed notes, the therapist will just use your and your child’s initials. The signed contract and initial referral form are stored on our encrypted and password protected online database and server.
With our mailing lists, we promise to never pass information on to a third party, and won’t contact families separately from school for marketing purposes if that was how they started to work with us. Therapists won’t return any follows or friend requests on social media for those who are current or past clients. This is the same for the Voyage of Hope Therapy Services Ltd Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page.
Want to find out more? Some schools are now using Online Counselling to support their children, so that’s always a good place to start. Some charities have also received funding due to the pandemic but please check the number of sessions and how much choice you have in practitioner. If you wish to work with us here at Voyage of Hope Therapy Services for therapy or training, you can book an initial meeting here with our automated calendar: https://calendly.com/vohts/meetings