In this episode, I talk about the best advice for teletherapists. There’s a lot of information and resources regarding teletherapy, so today’s episode highlights some of the essential core recommendations to keep in mind.
Maximize your technology
It is recommended that new teletherapists make sure their computer meets the minimum requirements and has a strong internet connection. Headphones are suggested for improved therapy quality, and knowing your therapy platform is crucial. Experienced teletherapists should learn to troubleshoot common issues and create a document for students and families with troubleshooting tips.
The first core principle of teletherapy is connection. As SLPs, I think we all know that building rapport with our students and clients is so important. With teletherapy, it’s even MORE important, since we’re not physically in the room with them. We really need to develop that trust and that positive relationship.
Three core principles that apply to every session: 1) make a personal connection with your students, 2) create a sense of structure and routine, and 3) incorporate play and fun into sessions.
The following fundamental principle is centered on creativity. Take a moment to reflect on your distinctive qualities as a therapist and the skills you bring to your sessions. You could even consider brainstorming a list after finishing this episode. Once you have re-familiarized yourself with your strengths, endeavor to be imaginative and infuse them into your therapy sessions as much as possible.
We should not undermine the importance of compassion as a core principle for teletherapists when working with clients and families, as well as for themselves. Prioritizing compassion in therapeutic interactions can change the experience and help to reduce stress. It’s essential to recognize that most people are doing their best at any given moment. When things go wrong, teletherapists should practice self-compassion and acknowledge that they are doing their best.
References and Resources:
- Biggs, E. E., Therrien, M. C. S., Douglas, S. N., & Snodgrass, M. R. (2022).
- Augmentative and alternative communication telepractice during the COVID-19 pandemic: A national survey of speech-language pathologists.
- American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(1), 303–321.
- From 0 to 60: Telepractice Lessons Learned
- Hall-Mills, S., Johnson, L., Gross, M., Latham, D., & Everhart, N. (2021).
- Providing telepractice in schools during a pandemic: The experiences and perspectives of speech-language pathologists. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 1–17.
- My Teletherapy Room
- Podcast Episode: Teletherapy 101
- Podcast Episode: Teletherapy Tips for SLPs
- Podcast: Top Equipment Recommendations for Teletherapy
- *Editing note: This is a link to the podcast text draft on Basecamp. Please update this link when the podcast is published.
- Smith, S., Parafiniuk, D., & Martin, D. (2021). 20Q: Teletherapy Basics: Tips & Tricks for School-Age Children. SpeechPathology.com. Article 20423. Available from www.speechpathology.com
- Zoom System Requirements
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