As we are all preparing to do things differently for a while, I have been fielding many questions regarding just how to get things working well – for us and for our clients. Here is a summary of what I feel is good to know.
First, a short video of my introduction on how to do Brainspotting sessions via telehealth.
Working from Home
When we are in our homes, so many things are so different. The space, our muscle memory for where things are, maybe even how we feel about ourselves and our practice. I know that I feel much more “on the job” when I am in my office than at home, that’s a big reason why I have an office. I like the separation of work/life and I like the guaranteed privacy.
At home I need to create a space that achieves as much of my professional comfort as possible. I have a room where I can close the door. I purchased a second sound machine so I have the same familiar ocean wave noise as I am accustomed in my office. I have a desk where my computer can be stable and at eye-level. I have a rolling desk chair so I can move about a bit. I have a jar with pens, pointers, finger puppets to use in the session. I have my files and my phone. I have a clock at eye-level so I can track the timing of the session.
I also have 2 things that I don’t typically use in my office. I have a set of wireless headphones with a built-in microphone and I have a conferencing microphone.
The headset is so I am confident that my clients are being protected as much as possible, nobody in the house can hear the client’s voice or what they are expressing. In working for just a short while with earbuds that have a mic, I found them to be very uncomfortable, and the mic gets brushed and muffled often which becomes overly irritating (at least to me) on the receiving end when you are doing work this way all day.
The conferencing microphone is a great option for groups, and that is how I have been using it so far. It drowns out background noise and amplifies my voice and it has a great range so if I move around, the client or group can still hear me clearly.
TIP: make sure the audio on your system is selecting the remote speaker/headset, not the built-in one. You can check that on the top bar of your screen, and then again make sure to select it within the Preferences of the video conferencing platform that you use.
The Client’s Home Client-side setup
My colleague here, Nick Doolittle, created a lovely “get started” how-to page for clients and offered to share it with everyone. I e-mail it prior to the session so clients can set up their space and be as ready as possible before the session, making the most of the time.
One thing to really stress with clients, trainees, colleagues is that their video source (laptop / desktop / iPad / tablet / phone) be STABLE, i.e: stationary. Working with screen sessions for extended periods I find myself quite seasick by the end of the day if clients are moving around, jostling the device, etc.
The Business Part
I have a new link on my site to accept PayPal or credit card payment for sessions. I also have a fill-in-able pdf of the Intake Paperwork that clients can send to me via e-mail, or if need be through a Dropbox exchange.
We are all doing the best we can, learning from each other and from each session. Be kind and gentle with yourself and remember that your clients will give you far more credit than you think.