As Covid-19 dominates our headlines and drastically transforms the landscape of the social world we live in, it has shined a spotlight on many of humans greatest strengths. This time has seen a demand for resiliency, communication, flexibility, compassion, creativity, collaboration and so much more. I have many times come across the quote "growth occurs outside our comfort zone". I think it is safe to say we have all been outside our comfort zone these last few weeks and may continue to be for a while longer.
For Playful Possibilities this challenge has included weighing up the ethical dilemma of continuing face to face care. I can assure you this was not an easy decision considering how I can balance the need to ensure continuity of care to those who are accessing my service, protect the health and safety of not only these individuals but the community as a whole and protect myself as someone in the at risk category. I found this decision complicated further due to my work predominantly being with people under 16 years and using play as part of my core practice. As any parent is aware social distancing with children poses unique challenges, and if you have seen my play room you can imagine that using all my regular resources and thoroughly disinfecting between each session would add a considerable amount of time to each day. Considering all these factors I felt ethically required to shift to telehealth, the prospect of which was daunting to say the least.
Prior to last week I had only previously done telehealth with adults. Working remotely with children was initially something I did not think would be possible and believed it would be something families may be hesitant to trial (more on that later). So the research began, the data was clear children being adaptable human beings who tend to be very familiar with navigating tech actually can engage quite well over telehealth. Not only is this an effective option to use during the pandemic but an option I will continue to offer for remote families going into the future as well.
Through telehealth I have learnt that there are many ways to engage in play and attachment interventions remotely. Not only can I continue to deliver evidence based interventions I use regularly in office it has also been a chance for me to improve on my parent coaching. Instead of face to face where I may lead a directive intervention with a child by telehealth if an intervention needs to be directed I will coach the family to put that into place. How great is that!?! Not only does that improve the families connection and communication, but you then have the skills to replicate this in the future or with other members of your family. This is definitely a skill I look forward to implementing more when face to face sessions are back in place as well.
Some other growth for myself and my business I have seen at this time is having time to prioritise creating and sharing stacks of free content, and I am so excited to launch next week our Building Brains online content. In only one week I am already feeling pride in having seen the flexibility of my service and my ability to follow my practice values and trust that this will ensure my ability to deliver a valuable service.
I am so grateful to my trusting and flexible clients for having navigated this. As a sole trader I am unlikely to receive any support to maintain my business from the government, and current efforts to negotiate office rent has not shown flexibility at this point in time. By you continuing to book sessions, share my posts, recommend my service or any other show of support will help to ensure I can provide ongoing support to children and families during this time.
Thank you all, stay well and we will talk soon.