Videotaping and Rating Your Own Sessions: Two Valuable Ways to Improve the Quality of Therapy

Practical Considerations for Taping

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Practical Considerations for Taping

On the purely practical side, it is very helpful to have a video camcorder that (1) will record both date and time on the frame as taping progresses; and (2) has the ability to plug in an external microphone. We have found paddle microphones such as Crown’s Sound Grabber II very effective in capturing therapy sessions. We record most of our sessions on 8mm videotape; if you are going to archive many sessions, the space saving compared to VHS cassettes is very significant.

The camera should be set to record from the patient’s elbows to the top of their head. Some therapists use two cameras and “picture-in-picture” technology to capture both the therapist and patient’s images. Though this can be helpful, the added benefit may not worth the cost for most therapists. A low cost VHS recorder attached to the therapist’s video recorder can simultaneously make a second tape to give to the patient at the end of the session. As a general rule, we provide the initial tape to the patient, then ask the patients to provide their own tapes thereafter. Tapes are recorded on extended play so that 6 hours of sessions can be put on one VHS videotape.

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