In March 2020, the Casa de los Niños staff made the rapid shift to providing virtual services.
We asked Child & Family Therapist, Bruce Kahler, how are things going?
“I think things are going surprisingly well! I was skeptical at first and not sure how effective virtual therapy could be. But, it is impressive that people can still do this important work and still feel the connection to the process and with their therapist. And, as we are learning to work in the context of a pandemic, we have created new, safe processes to allow for some in-person sessions as well. It is definitely necessary for some clients who are doing deeper work, exploring values, or doing complex trauma work that they are just not comfortable doing from home. There is often not enough privacy in the home setting to do this kind of work. There are other challenges. For example, it can be tough to keep a client with an ADHD diagnosis engaged through the screen, and in-person therapy works much better. I am seeing that many different therapy models work quite well in the virtual environment; models such as Carl Rogers’ Person-Centered therapy approach using unconditional positive regard to provide the best possible conditions for personal growth. And even EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) a technique in which the person being treated is asked to recall distressing or traumatic events while the therapist directs the client to use some type of bilateral stimulation such as side-to-side rapid eye movement or tapping – has been used effectively in telehealth therapy. I think the impact of the pandemic, including school disruptions and all of the other uncertainty, remains to be seen.”