To ensure that we are doing our part to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in our community,we are temporarily suspending all face-to-face sessions. Instead, our psychologists will be offering telehealth sessions via phone or videoconferencing. To help smooth the transition from regular face-to-face sessions to telehealth, we have put together a guide to how this will work.
Why use phone and video consultations?
It is important to maintain continuity of care and avoid losing progress made in therapy, particularly during what is likely to be a period of heightened anxiety, uncertainty and social isolation for many people. Research has shown that psychological services delivered via telehealth are just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy.
How will phone and video consultations work?
Telehealth sessions will last 50 minutes, just like regular face-to-face appointments. Your psychologist will contact you from a secure and private room using a communication platform agreed upon prior to your appointment.
Zoom and Coviu are both secure, encrypted platforms which can be used on laptops and desktop computers without installing any new software. You will simply receive a link which you will click to join a videoconference with your psychologist. If you prefer to use your phone, a mobile application may be downloaded prior to your session. For all email communication, we suggest using a private email address, rather than a shared or work account.
What will be required of me during phone and video consultations?
Set aside the full session duration and switch off other devices to prevent interruptions. To ensure your privacy, use a private room in which the conversation cannot be overheard by others. Try to be somewhere free from interferences and distractions with minimal noise disturbances. If there are no suitable places inside their home, some clients may choose to conduct calls from other private spaces, such as a car. Be aware of the lighting to ensure that you and your psychologist have a clear view of each other.
If there are technological issues with videoconferencing, it may be necessary to transition to a phone consultation. In the event of an emergency, enact the contingency plan established with your psychologist. At the beginning of each session your psychologist will ask where you are located for safety reasons.
Payment for phone and video consultations
At the conclusion of your session, our reception team will contact you to arrange for secure payment. For those with a Mental Health Care Plan, your MHCP will need to be current and will follow the same process currently in place – a GP review at sessions 6 and 10. If you are accessing your therapy through other avenues, telehealth sessions can also be offered under WorkCover, TAC and private health insurance. Private sessions are available to you at any time with no referral required.
If you have any more questions about telehealth, please contact our reception at (03) 9388 8113, or firstname.lastname@example.org.