Seeking Synchrony Through Screens: Approaching Adaptation of Therapeutic Methods in Telehealth Settings

Mx Brede Davis1,2

1Melton Specialist School, Melton, Australia, 2The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

For many healthcare professionals and students, responding to the sudden need for telehealth services in 2020 involved rapidly shifting established methods of practice to a setting that had been relatively unaddressed in existing literature. A crucial consideration here was how to establish, develop, or maintain therapeutic rapport in this unfamiliar context.

This poster presents a generalisable approach for implementing therapeutic methods in telehealth settings. Rather than replicating face-to-face methods, this approach prioritises the therapeutic experiences within these methods. This involves a process of identifying the in-person experiences that typically support the desired outcomes, then implementing and adapting methods to access these experiences online.

Application of this approach is demonstrated using the desired outcome of experiencing meaningful therapeutic rapport with telehealth participants. Examples of existing and adapted methods informed by this approach are drawn from those used during a telehealth music therapy placement working with older adults in May-June 2020. These methods appeared to mitigate barriers presented by the telehealth context, with participant and staff feedback indicating that meaningful therapeutic rapport was established and developed during this short timeframe.



Brede Davis is a University of Melbourne new graduate Registered Music Therapist with clinical experience spanning a range of community, educational, medical, and residential contexts. She is currently working with young people across multiple settings in Narrm/Melbourne. Brede intends for her work as an RMT to contribute to wider goals of increasing access to collaborative healthcare and decreasing stigma surrounding health diversity.

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