No matter the discipline, almost every therapist uses therapeutic materials of some sort when working with clients and their families. Tools like flashcards, worksheets, games, toys and other materials are often implemented to address goals.
When you’re doing an in-person session, these tools are easy to use. But when it comes to teletherapy sessions, can you still use your favorite worksheet or game? Is it even possible?
The short answer is yes, IF you have the right telehealth video conferencing platform. Today’s technology makes it possible for clinicians to utilize almost every single stimuli that they would use with clients during in-person therapy sessions…just like they were actually sitting across from you.
Worksheets and Handouts
Worksheets and handouts are a mainstay of therapy tools and for good reason. They add another dimension to therapeutic process and can help clients visualize, practice and process information in a variety of ways. For visual learners, incorporating worksheets and handouts makes complete sense.
You may think that the only way of utilizing worksheets and handouts is to mail or email them to a client ahead of time. After all, how can you give a client a handout in session if they’re 100 miles away?
Technology has come a long way since email and now, with the right platform, you can actually share your worksheets and other documents in real time. Seriously!
With a fully integrated platform, like TheraPlatform (www.theraplatform.com) , there are a couple of ways you can share worksheets and such during your session:
- Screen sharing – Organize your worksheets on your computer into folders. You can then screen share them during your live online session.
- Organize your worksheets in your platform and present your worksheets during a live teletherapy session. Presentation of stimuli and interaction happens without leaving the platform. This option is preferred by many clinicians as they are not comfortable sharing their own computers.
What if you need your client to write on the worksheet? With the right platform, that’s possible too! TheraPlatform, for examples, allows you to annotate worksheets and clients can easily type, draw on or fill in a document all within the platform and during a session.
Books are frequently used in therapy by speech therapists, pediatric mental health providers and other therapists. Books help therapists to teach concepts, problem solve, develop rapport, help with exploring feelings and more.
You might be thinking, “There’s no good way to share a book in a telehealth session.” Actually there is! In fact, there are two way to do just that.
- Subscribe to one of the online digital book services such as Epic. The therapist can login to the book service, pick a book and present it during live session via screen sharing in the video conferencing platform.
- For hard copy books, a document camera and a video conferencing platform that supports document cameras (such as TheraPlatform) are all you need! Plug your document camera in, place the book under the camera and the book is projected onto the screen for both clinician and client to see.
Toys and Other Props
Just as in in-person sessions, toys and other therapeutic props and tools can be utilized in teletherapy. Of course, how you use them may differ a bit. With some creativity and thinking outside the box, you can find many ways to use your favorites. With TheraPlatform’s dual screen sharing, camera and interactive white board, you’re sure to find just the right way to use your favorite toys or puppets.
Online Educational Websites and Games
Another tool lots of therapists use regularly are online, educational games and websites. But when in an online session, navigating to those sites while still remaining in a HIPAA-secure environment can be dicey.
With HIPAA-secure video conferencing platform that allows two-way screen sharing, you can share your desktop, websites and other online resources. Screen sharing is a great tool to use when you want clients to be able to manipulate the online resource using their mouse or touch screen. Not every platform has this feature so if you use a lot of online resources, you want to choose one that has the capabilities you need to conduct your therapy, your way knowing your client’s privacy is secure.
Need more resources for games and apps? Look for a platform that offers built-in apps and games. If your therapeutic approach uses a lot of apps and games, check out TheraPlatform’s Pro Plus plan! The Pro Plus plan gives you access to a library of apps and games that target areas such as memory, problem solving, anomia, articulation, expressive and receptive language, aphasia, auditory processing and social skills. While engaged with you, clients can manipulate them on their ends using either their mouse or touch screen. Our apps contain thousands of photos and stimuli and a reward system. This plan is especially good for practices offering speech therapy or multidisciplinary services such as speech, occupational, and physical therapy, and mental health services.
TheraPlatform (www.theraplatform.com) is designed with teletherapy practice in mind. It is a HIPAA-secure, fully integrated platform that offers the clinician everything they need to be able to have a full, rich and fully interactive video session with their client.
More articles about teletherapy
Teletherapy Checklist for Therapists: https://www.theraplatform.com/blog/332/teletherapy-checklist-for-therapists
Consent Forms and Telemental Health: The Struggle is real: https://www.theraplatform.com/blog/292/consent-forms-and-telemental-health-the-struggle-is-real
Beyond the Preparation: 4 Ways to Launch Your Teletherapy Practice: https://www.theraplatform.com/blog/290/beyond-the-preparation-4-ways-to-launch-your-teletherapy-telehealth-practice
Additional Resources: https://www.theraplatform.com/blog/page/2
About Author: This article was provided by TheraPlatform (www.theraplatform.com) , practice management, EMR and telehealth software for therapists. TheraPlatform offers multiple plans and features to meet needs of solo therapists, private practices and organizations. It includes scheduling, documentation, billing, video conferencing and more.