As an OT and a disabled person I always appreciate extra access info so here’s a quick summary of how appointments and communication usually work when working with me or my students.
Appointment Planning & Communication
The vast majority of communication between you (the client) and me (the therapist) happens via email or social media. Traditionally, you will get in touch with me to start the conversation. Casual conversations can happen on any of my social media platforms but I only send/request paperwork and personal or health details via secure email.
Conversation tone is usually pretty casual unless I’m corresponding with other members of your medical team. As an example, GP’s usually prefer formal correspondence to start with.
I try to avoid using sarcasm, regional slang and metaphors for important communication but if you struggle with non-literal communication please let me know and I’ll make sure I’m particularly clear (but still casual) for all communication.
After an initial discussion about your needs and an exchange of paperwork we can book the appointment. If you struggle with email we can complete some of the appointment booking process via the phone. I can call you to offer appointment slots rather than emailing you a selection of available appointments to choose from.
Appointments are all carried out via video chat. Usually via Microsoft Teams which does have auto captioning, transcripts and allows recordings if you’d like to re-watch later. If you have a specific access or technical need we can also use Zoom, Skype, Google Meet or WhatsApp.
Appointments are available between 11am and 8pm (UK time) 7 days a week though I can occasionally stretch as late as 10pm, especially in cases of extensive time difference . There is no additional charge for weekend, evening or bank holiday appointments. Some appointment times are more popular than others and may come with a longer wait. I can usually fit in ’emergency’ appointments at short notice. If you are struggling with acute symptoms and are in need of support quickly please be honest with me and ask for an emergency appointment.
You can cancel or re-book with as little as 5 minutes notice since I work from home and understand the unpredictable nature of chronic health conditions. This is not a problem. I would rather you cancel then struggle during the appointment and not get anything out of it.
Appointments are casual and relaxed unless you request otherwise. If you would like a break to stretch, get a drink or go to the loo etc. please just let me know and we’ll pause the appointment, likewise for answering the door or phone.
I always allow for 30 minutes ‘overtime’ at the end of your booked appointment. I will let you know when we reach the end of your time slot and ask if you’d like to continue, finish or re-book for another time. Any overtime will be invoiced for after the appointment and is charged at £5 per 5 minutes.
You are not expected to put on a brave face, or present yourself as less exhausted than you are. I have no problem with you being in bed, in PJ’s or on the sofa for the duration of our appointment. Occasionally I will be in PJ’s too. My office is a bed with a desk over it, I appreciate comfort and good back support!
You are welcome to have someone with you for the appointment. Either for support or to help you with communication or self-care. Or, just because you think they’d benefit from a little education too! You do not have to let me know in advance but an introduction at the start of the appointment is appreciated.
You can take notes or recordings of the appointment if you wish. You do not need to ask in advance but please let me know if you are recording the session and do not share the recording without speaking to me first.
I am fluent in ‘brain fog’. Please do not worry about your ability to string a sentence together. Simply let me know if you’d rather be prompted or left to work out the words on your own.
I will always face the camera to speak but please let me know if I can assist with communication in any other way. I avoid wearing fussy, stripy or geometric patterns from the waist up and my face will be lit to make sure I can be seen clearly. There is a window in the office but I can shut the blinds if needed. I do fidget during appointments. It’s a necessary coping strategy for me. The camera doesn’t move so it won’t be ‘blare witch’ style filming and hopefully won’t cause you any problems.
Complaints or concerns
I see any complaint or critique as an opportunity to improve. I will be grateful if you raise issues that improve the quality of my personal service delivery or the way my service is set up. You can, and should let me know if I have upset, offended, marginalised, or disadvantaged you in any way. If you’re happy giving informal feedback, I am always happy to receive it.
I know raising any kind of issue can be scary, especially if we will still be working together afterwards. I will do my absolute best to support you and modify my behaviour if needed.
If you’re not sure how to proceed please feel free to use some or all of the following template to raise a concern via email then simply message/text me with “I’m raising a concern or complaint, please check your email”.
[Please feel free to CC in anyone you’d like for support]
I would like to raise a concern/complaint about an incident that took place [insert date or descriptor here].
During this event [provide brief summary of event].
This concerned me because [insert details about why the event is problematic].
This made me feel [insert how the incident impacted you]
I would like to suggest [ways that the incident could be improved on]
Further education is available [recommend relevant educational resources if applicable]
Please [recommend how you would like this resolved or how you’d like to move forwards] so that we can work together more effectively.
[insert email signature or contact details]
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can either use the contact forms in the appointment booking pages or simply email email@example.com. You can also use the messenger option on the bottom right hand corner of the website or contact me via WhatsApp or phone on 07507894759.