May 26, 2020

After three long months, I will be resuming in-office services as of June 1st. As a contractor with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency and a specialist in the treatment of young children, the play therapy and coaching services I provide are essential, now more than ever. I am concerned about the impact the loss of school, peer relationships, activities, and restricted access to extended family have had on children, and the stress that prolonged social isolation has had on many families. While I will continue to provide teletherapy, as I value its utility in strengthening the parent-child relationship while fostering healthy parenting strategies, it does not replace face to face therapy, where children’s most subtle verbal and non-verbal expressions are observed in the moment and responded to in a manner that supports their development of emotional coping skills. I plan to implement strict protocols to preserve my clients health.

Christian Bellissimo

Protocol for in-office sessions:

  • Visitors and the therapist must be symptom-free prior to each session or they will be cancelled. The therapist will take a daily temperature screening and visitors will be asked to do the same.
  • Visitors will be restricted to one parent/guardian and the child participating in the session. The time between sessions will be extended to prevent any possibility of multiple families occupying the waiting room simultaneously.
  • All visitors must wash hands prior to entering the office, followed by the application of hand sanitizer.
  • The parent/guardian and therapist will wear a face covering for the duration of the visit. The child will wear a face covering, depending on their age and developmental level.
  • After each session, individual toys handled by the child will be removed and cleaned with soap and water and/or disinfecting wipes, and the entire room will be sprayed with a water/bleach mixture.
  • After each session, hard surfaces and door handles will be cleaned with disinfecting wipes. Cloth seat cushions will be sprayed with a water/bleach mixture.
  • If a client or the therapist has come in contact with an individual known to have COVID19, sessions will be cancelled until the client or therapist is cleared to return by a physician.

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