Online or In-Office Counselling?
Online or phone sessions are a safe way to do therapy during COVID-19. Although it is common to feel this won't be as good as meeting in each other's presence, most people find they can benefit and that the virtual connection is a very close facsimile to the in-office experience.
For either in-office or online audio-visual counselling, please contact me for an appointment. I am sometimes booked up and unable to take new clients. However that situation can change quickly.
For tips on getting through the stresses of this pandemic, please go to my blog posts.
To prepare for an online session, please ensure you have privacy and quiet for the duration of your online session.
Counselling meetings online are private and secure. Once we are on each other's screen, I can "lock" the session, meaning no other person has access. Please contact me if you have any concerns about online security or confidentiality.
Use the contact form to tell me what you need. And stay well!
Deciding to work in-office
If you wish to see me in-office please get in touch. My decision to work with people in-office is based on a mutual assessment of the risks and benefits.
The following is an abbreviated version of the Informed Consent I require for in-office counselling during COVID-19.
Client agreements for in-office counselling:
To receive counselling services in person, you agree to take certain precautions which will help keep everyone (you, me, our families, and other clients) safer from exposure, sickness and possible death. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, I may cancel the appointment or ask to move it online. If you wish to cancel for reasons of possible coronavirus symptoms, the normal cancellation fee will not be charged. These are the agreements I ask each in-office client to keep:
- You will only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom free.
- You will not attend a session if you have a fever.
- You will not attend a session in office if you have symptoms of coronavirus. If in doubt please consult https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en. This is the BC self-assessment tool.
- In case of two or more of the following symptoms—sore throat, cough, runny nose/sneezing, nasal congestion, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste, chills, unexplained fatigue/malaise, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting—you agree to cancel your appointment or rebook for an online session.
- Please feel free to cancel if you only have a couple of symptoms, for example, the “sniffles” and a cough. The session can easily be moved online.
- You will wait in your car or outside until the appointment time.
- You will use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you enter the office.
- You will bring a mask to wear and don it if at any time asked to do so.
- You will bring your own water bottle.
- We will keep a distance of 6 feet and there will be no physical contact with me.
- You will try not to touch your face or eyes with your hands. If you do, you will immediately sanitize your hands.
- If you need to cough or sneeze you will try to do so into a Kleenex (box by the client’s chair) or into your elbow.
- You will take steps between appointments to minimize your exposure to COVID by following all public health guidelines.
- If you are exposed to other people, whether in your personal or work-life, who are infected with COVID, you will immediately notify me.
- You commit to letting me know if your degree of regular exposure to others has changed.
- You will review these agreements prior to each appointment.
Office Safety Precautions
I have taken the following steps in my practice to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus:
- Appointments are scheduled at intervals to allow for ventilation and sanitizing procedures between sessions.
- I ask all clients to wait in their cars or outside my office until their appointment time.
- Seating in the therapy office has been arranged for 2 metre physical distancing.
- All touch-surfaces in the office and bathroom are sanitized between sessions.
- Hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol is available in the therapy room.
- We will not pass any items between us—payment is by Interac or online transfer.
- We will wear masks in the unlikely event we need to come closer than 2 metres.
- There will not be any physical contact.
- Each week I will email clients scheduled for in-office sessions to review these agreements before coming for their appointment. At the start of each session I will ask if your answers are still affirmative.
Please be in touch to discuss any concerns you have about online or in-office counselling.