In California, many are coming up on a year of telehealth/telepsych. I, personally, began telehealth on March 16, 2020. Currently, I am doing hybrid therapy (mostly telehealth, but I do see clients in person, with precaution, if there is a clinical reason).
I want to pause here just to note that I have been a therapist (during and post grad school) for longer in telehealth than I was a therapist in person. If anyone is curious, I was a therapist (intern) for 6.5 months in person, and an telehealth/hybrid therapist for 10.5 months since last March.
It looks like, at my agency, this telehealth thing will not be changing any time soon. So, I thought it would be great to reflect on the interventions I have found helpful.
Honestly, I can’t believe I have not already written this article. I guess I just assumed that there were already so many similar articles and master lists. Truly, I needed this list when the pandemic started, so I couldn’t have written it. Regardless, I hope you get at least one helpful idea from this article if you are looking for a new idea.
Disclaimer: This article contains external links, but I am not associated with the outside links and do not receive any benefit from providing these links.
Games and Rapport Building
Table Topics: I use Table Topics cards when rapport building: I just pull out cards and we take turns answering them. (Click here for link) Alternatively, one could just take turns asking any random questions.
BattleShip: I like playing Battleship with clients. (Click here for link) I just send the client the link that is generated (click play with friend), and send it to my client via Zoom chat.
Art For Kids Hub: This website has tons of different drawing tutorials for various age groups. (Click here for link).
Spot It Game: I also like playing Spot It via Zoom. (click here for link) My clients play with me because I hold the cards up to the camera. Sometimes, I make a game too within the game (ex. Name a coping skill after each point).
Two Truths and a Lie: Very straightforward… I play this game at the start of therapy with most clients.
Scavenger Hunt: I basically make this one up as I go, but I also prep before the session so I have things that are personal but not too personal. It’s pretty simple: Find something that makes you happy, sad, angry, embarrassed, proud, creative, etc… and discuss. You may be surprised how many stories the client may share.
Tic Tac Toe: Again, another very simple one. I think Google allows you to play (just google Tic Tac Toe), or you can share the Whiteboard in Zoom.
Hangman: Once again, another very simple one. You can share the Whiteboard in Zoom.
Any Talk Therapy with Play Doh: There are many different ways to use Play-Doh. If I work with a young child via Zoom, I might ask if they have Play-Doh or any clay-type toy. Then, I take my Play Doh and we either separately hold onto it while talking OR we make characters (ex. Snowmen) to talk through.
Mindfulness interventions: There are so many… Five Senses (5 things you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste), Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Self-Hand Massage, Deep breathing, Meditations… etc. Click here to read: Self-Hand-Massage Relaxation Technique: My Personal Script
Music and Emotions: Ask your client to identify a song that makes them feel different feelings. Then, listen to it together and discuss.
Communication/Assertiveness Skills: Therapist Aid might be a good resource for finding worksheets. One could also google DBT communication skills.
Affirmations: Affirmations are pretty straightforward. I also like to guide my client’s in listing their accomplishments. I typically share the screen in zoom and make a list with word docs or google docs.
Timelines: Timelines can be helpful in exploring underlying issues. Again, I typically share my screen and make the timeline with Google Docs, Word docs, or the Zoom Whiteboard.
Genograms: Family genograms (maps of a family and patterns) can also be helpful in exploring underlying issues. Again, I typically share my screen and make the genogram with Google Docs, Word docs, or the Zoom Whiteboard.
CBT, DBT, and ACT: (Click here for the ACT book I read) There are so many skills in CBT, DBT, and ACT. I might teach some skills using worksheets from Therapist Aid or ones easily googled online. I am not certified in any of these interventions and do not endorse in any way claiming to be certified in these interventions if you are not.
Youtube Videos: Youtube can be used for so many different things. Maybe watch a fun video or song to engage a client in session, reward them for their engagement, or take a break.
- Additionally, click here for a playlist created by another therapist that has videos on feelings for kids (name unknown, please let me know if you do).
- Click here to view: Relaxation Videos For Kids Under 10 Minutes
- Click here to read: Videos For Spanish Speaking Children: Feelings and Relaxation
Therapist Aid Worksheets: This site is great for finding easy-to-use worksheets for client sessions. (click here for link).
Other Psychoeducation and Worksheets Depending on Your Client Needs: This area is so broad that the best I can do is share an article I made consolidating many different sites that have resources such as worksheets, information sheets/articles, etc. Click here to read: Online Resources for Social Workers and Mental Health Professionals
Thanks For Reading!
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