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Getting the Most Out of Online Interventions

During the pandemic organisations and individuals have been forced to adapt their ways of working. This has often included getting used to using technology that supports remote interactions, for example video-conferencing.

While working to deliver online structured interventions with Service Users can sometimes seem like a huge change to our practice, RSMS recognise that we still use the same skills and techniques to build positive relationships and support change.

Here are three tips for delivering online interventions:

  • Use the online platform and devices that work best for you and your Service User. You have the flexibility to chose if you screen share, or deliver over the phone for example. You might also want to think about learning styles. Remember, this is a new way of working for most of us, don’t worry if you need to try a couple of different delivery methods, you can always try a couple of practice runs. The more confident you are, the more confident they will be.
  • This may seem like an obvious one, but make sure the Service User has set time aside to enable them to fully engage without distraction. It might be extremely difficult for Service Users to find a quiet place at home for the appointment, but try and check what times might be better for them and be mindful of this where possible, e.g. not when the kids have just got home from school.
  • Where technology might make certain methods of communication more difficult (e.g. facial expressions, body language), make sure you use all those other Motivational Interviewing techniques to compensate. For example, plenty of open questions, affirmations and reflecting back what they have said to check understanding. Taking a Strength-Based approach (i.e. asking what people to well, what their strengths and qualities are) to delivery is another way to increase participant engagement and build positive relationships.

And finally, remember, structured interventions are a practitioner’s toolkit for positive change. Online programmes have the most impact when professionals use their therapeutic skills and knowledge of individual Service Users to tailor their approach to delivery.

Find out more about the Intervention Hub’s structured online interventions here: digitalintervention.co.uk 

Author – Kira Day, RSMS Consultant and Interventions Specialist


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