Art Therapy via Video Conferencing: How to maintain social connection and keep physical distance
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Along with many other health professionals I have recently transitioned both my group and individual art therapy sessions to video conference format. My prior experience with using video conferencing had been frustrating so I was unsure how effective it would be as an alternative to face to face sessions. Not everyone wanted to change to video conference mode so I will pick up again with some clients when we are able to meet in person. For those those who have been willing to try video conferencing it has been a very positive experience, while it is unlikely replace face to face sessions permanently, it is a mode they will be able to use in the future at times when they have difficulty leaving home.
It is certainly a mode I will be offering more in the future. For some time I have been wondering how to create art therapy groups for individuals who have difficulty leaving home and using transport independently and also how to provide individual sessions more economically to people in their homes.
For those who are interested in trying video conferencing there are a few tips which help sessions run smoothly. You will need to have your own art materials available, a desk table or floor space to work on and a drop sheet if you are using messy materials will make clean up easier. A laptop, tablet or phone with functional camera and good internet connection is essential. I suggest closing other applications on the computer, tablet or phone prior to commencing the call to ensure they are not slowing down internet access. I have found Zoom to be the best application for groups, I have helped people who are not overly familiar with internet and computer technology set this up quickly and successfully.
Maintaining social connections while keeping physical distance