To support the safety of the community, our clients and our clinicians during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are NOW offering Telehealth counselling services to facilitate your ongoing counselling care with least disruption. These include online video (zoom) or phone alternatives.
Are there Medicare rebates for video or phone sessions?
Medicare announced that until 30th September 2020, rebates are available for Telehealth sessions with your psychologist when referred by your General Practitioner (GP) with a valid Mental Health Plan (MHTP) or Paediatrician. As the situation and available information is ever-evolving, please contact us for the latest information about available rebates.
Are video or phone sessions covered by NDIS or private health insurance?
NDIS does fund sessions conducted over video or phone with your psychologist. Most private health insurers also cover video and phone sessions; however, you will need to confirm with your individual provider.
What technology do I need to have a phone or video session?
We are currently using Zoom to host video sessions. You do not need an existing Zoom account to participate, but if you already have one you can sign in with your existing details. Once our admin team has confirmed your booking for an online video session with your psychologist, you will receive an email invitation to join the zoom session prior to your session. You simply follow the link on the provided on the day of your session and you can join the session. You will need to enter an ID and password to join the private session. You will receive more details in your specific email, however, if you would like more information about how to join a zoom session, please see the zoom website.
What would a phone or video session with my child or teenager involve?
Depending on the age of your child or adolescent, the phone or video session will have some similarities with a face-to-face consultation. In addition to talking, the psychologist may use drawing or other art materials, online whiteboards, worksheets, online games, or utilise music, videos or books to help engage the client during therapy. The psychologist may send links via email to you with activities or child-friendly websites in advance that might be used during the session.
What materials does my child or teenager need to participate in the session?
Your child or teenager will need access to a computer, a tablet or a phone to engage in the Zoom session. A computer or tablet is preferable so that the young person can easily access multiple tabs if the psychologist requests that they go to a web page or engage with an online activity during the session. Our psychologists also request that you have paper and writing / drawing materials available is possible. The psychologist may enquire as to whether you have access to other materials for specific activities during sessions to aid planning.
Can I request a parent video or phone session with my psychologist?
Absolutely! Parent sessions can be conducted easily over the phone or via video. If there are any concerns about how a video or phone session may work for your child or teenager, then having parent sessions during this time is a great way to continue psychological support.
How can I ensure that the session between the psychologist and my child or teenager is private?
At Mind & Seek we advise children and teenagers that the content of their sessions with their psychologist is private and confidential unless we have concerns about their safety. To ensure this standard of care continues when they are at home, we ask that parents provide a private space in the home with a closed door. In this way, young people can feel free to talk about whatever they like, without concerns that siblings or parents may be listening. If possible, headphones also help create a private environment for a video call. If children are too young to be unsupervised within the home then the psychologist may recommend a parent-child session or a parent-only session as an alternative. The psychologist will talk to you and the young person about how best to maintain privacy at your first video or phone session.
What if my child or teenager becomes distressed or needs my help during the session? How will the psychologist alert me?
It is necessary for psychologists to have a way of contacting parents via the phone during closed door sessions with children and teenagers. If the psychologist requires you to enter the room and the young person cannot alert you themselves, then the psychologist will call you on the phone number provided on file. Please ensure your phone is on and charged during your child or teen’s session so that you can be easily contactable.
Are there situations where it may not be appropriate to have a child video or phone session?
Adapting therapy from face-to-face to phone or video sessions can be challenging for some clients. Very young children, children with high needs, non-verbal children or very active or anxious children may struggle to engage with the psychologist through a screen. In these circumstances, your psychologist may request that parents remain present throughout the session. Depending on your circumstances, your psychologist may request a brief trial session to see if video or phone sessions are appropriate for your child. As an alternative to child sessions, parent sessions during this time can be a great way to continue psychological support. Your psychologist will consider carefully whether video or phone sessions are an appropriate alternative for your child during this time.
What happens if our online connection fails?
Video sessions are reliant on internet connection and sometimes the connection can fail unexpectedly. The first 10 minutes of your session will be dedicated to checking that the connection is appropriate to commence the session, if unsuccessful during this time, a phone session may be offered if appropriate. Before commencing your first session with the psychologist, it is recommended that you create a personal zoom account to check your connection. This could be a helpful way to practice talking over video with your child or teen prior to the session. You can download a free (basic) version of zoom here. You do not need your own personal account for your psychology session.
Can I request that the session be conducted over the phone instead of video?
If you do not have the technology to conduct a video session or feel more comfortable talking over the phone, then a phone session may be more appropriate. When working with young clients, it is our preference to use video if available. Our psychologists use more than just verbal communication to engage with clients. Subtle changes in mood and behaviour are often communicated in non-verbal ways to our psychologists (such as gestures, body language, stature) and it can be helpful to see the client during sessions. Your psychologist can help you decide what might be most suitable for you and your child or teen during the first phone session.