Natalie Oliveri Music Therapy is a leader in music therapy via Telehealth in South Australia and has provided online music therapy sessions since early 2018 to ensure rural and remote families can access Music Therapy in areas where no registered Music Therapists are available. Through experience, I have successfully developed strategies to facilitate music therapy sessions for children on the autism spectrum and adults.
There is abundant research and growing evidence demonstrating that therapy delivered online can be just as effective as face to face delivery. I see it as a viable option and hope it can assist you to access meaningful therapy.
Telehealth Music Therapy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is health provided via online or virtual means. This is sometimes referred to as teletherapy or telepractice. Essentially, instead of your music therapist visiting you in home or at the clinic, they visit you via your electronic device such as an iPad, phone or computer.
Some health users are in remote or regional locations and require alternative means of communication or consultancy to bridge the gap. Telehealth can connect specialists to the people wanting to access services. Telehealth has been used successfully in other music therapy contexts in the past with good success.
As of March 2020, Telehealth was necessary to comply with social distancing and Government regulations in line with the COVID-19 pandemic. Natalie Oliveri Music Therapy broadened Telehealth services to continue to provide services during this time.
What does it cost?
Telehealth is charged as the same hourly rate as face-to-face music therapy sessions. A minimum charge will be incurred for music therapy Telehealth sessions. During the first 1-2 sessions, the music therapist will determine if:
Telehealth is a viable option for the participant, and;
if the session time could be reduced or if it will remain the same.
With your consultation, non-face-to-face time may be charged if necessary to allow the provider to create and supply resources required in Telehealth sessions that the participant may ordinarily have access to at the music therapy studio.
What is your cancellation policy?
Effective 25 March 2020, participants will be required to give 10 business days’ notice for a cancellation if they want to avoid paying the full fee for a cancelled service. Previously, participants were required to give two business days’ notice.
Please see the latest information and temporary changes from the NDIA in regard to cancellations amid the Covid-19 Pandemic for further details: https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/price-guides-and-pricing
This will be at the discretion of the therapist and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The therapist will certainly be lenient with initial teething issues, however a minimum session fee and the cancellation policy will still apply.
Will this work for me?
Telehealth will not work for everyone and this will be assessed in consultation with individual participants based on their access to technology, their clinical goals and the nature of the person themselves.
How do I explain Telehealth to my child?
Our colleagues at Halcyon Music Therapy have created a social story. Please consider the age of your child before using this with them. Many children are familiar with watching music videos or shows on YouTube and they may surprise you with their ability to engage with the therapist on screen.
Will my privacy be protected?
Can’t we just use Facebook messenger to connect?
Using social media provided video conferencing (such as FaceTime, Skype and Facebook Messenger) is not suitable due to privacy concerns and does not adhere to allied health ethical obligations.
My child doesn’t keep still, how will you make this work?
Natalie Oliveri Music Therapy will work collaboratively and creatively with you to engage your child. Your assistance will be required, similarly to the way we work in some face-to-face sessions. Telehealth sessions rely on the support provided by the parent or caregiver, who may need to engage more to assist the facilitation of the therapy.
We don’t have any instruments – does that matter?
No, not at all. This is a time to be innovative and creative and we can find many different ways to improvise.
Can I take video recordings?
Due to confidentiality and copyright laws clients are not permitted to record online music therapy sessions.
When can we start face-to-face sessions again?
Face-to-face sessions will resume when advised by the Federal Government, State Government, NDIA and the music therapy professional representing organisation – the Australian Music Therapy Association. When this occurs, Natalie Oliveri Music Therapy will be in touch regarding resumption of face-to-face services, and where necessary, the rescheduling of regular appointment times.
What happens if I decide to take a break and not access Telehealth?
Your decision will be respected to discontinue with music therapy via Telehealth. You can choose to pause sessions until the Covid-19 Pandemic passes and there is no longer a public health State of Emergency. Please remember you can change your mind at any time.
Can I keep my regular appointment time?
If you continue with Telehealth, every effort will be made to adhere to your regular scheduled appointment time, if that is convenient for you. It is unclear how long the pandemic will impact on our lives and the delivery of therapies, therefore if you choose not to access Telehealth, there is no guarantee your regular appointment time will be available to you when face-to-face services resume. Our best effort will be made to accommodate participants with current service agreements when face-to-face services resume. Here is a link to information about the NDIA response to Covid-19: https://www.ndis.gov.au/understanding/ndis-and-other-government-services/ndis-and-disaster-response
FAQ developed with Halcyon Music Therapy (WA). Used with permission March 2020