Clinical Observation of Therapy

Video Recording used in Psychology

Among all the advancements in the field of psychology over the past few years, the Valt solution from IVS is adding new dimensions for sharpening the skills and insights of students in universities across the country.

For a psychologist delving into the personality of a patient, a flinch or a fidget can speak volumes when it comes to revealing issues during analysis. Detecting and assessing their meaning is key to becoming a competent professional who can address people’s problems.

The IVS video technology for training offers significant advantages to students for improving their technique through their ability to provide their own feedback. For faculty, the footage captures the behavior of both the student and the subject, providing the ability to replay and review observational data to an extent not possible by strictly watching the interactions live. To serve the needs of both of these kinds of users, the Valt video solution provides significantly improved ease and convenience of use, plus the data security required by this field, over conventional video technology.

The study of psychology plays a major role at USC. In 2010 out of the over 7,000 Bachelor’s degrees awarded, students within the department of psychology earned 9% of them. U.S. News and World Report places USC in a two-way tie for the #2 spot on the Best Psychology Graduate Schools list in 2013. Part of what drives these kinds of results is a willingness to be on the cutting edge of the latest teaching methods and this is why they recently installed the Valt system.

Shannon Couture is Director of the Psychology Services Center, which is a training clinic for PhD students at USC that provides a subject pool for students of low-fee individual and group therapy services for adults, children, couples, and families. According to Dr. Couture, “we needed a video system for of our therapists and assessors are in training that would provide a way to observe the services they are providing so that they can get high quality feedback from their supervisors.”

During these sessions the video system captures confidential information, leading to a lot of very important considerations around their students being able to only view their own video and not other student’s video, including compliance with HIPAA (Health Information Compliance). The same issue concern applies to the supervising faculty who must only view the videos of their own students.

To address this issue, the Valt system at USC has been reliably and securely integrated into existing enterprise infrastructure, using full encryption (SSL, RTMPS) of all server/client traffic, video streams and recordings. Dr. Couture notes that “most of the other systems out there did not do that.”

Although their faculty is skilled in their profession, many of them are not tech savvy. “So we needed,” says Dr. Couture, “a system that was pretty much point and click and super easy for them.”

They log in, they see a list of videos they have access to, they press play.”

The Valt system also provides convenience for busy students. Most the students are able to watch the videos and access them at home – or anywhere – using their computer or mobile device through any type of browser including PC, Mac or Firefox.

The other feature that has really been helpful from the training perspective is the ability to create clips as well as faculty having the capability to insert comments on the video for later reference. Both of those features allow communication between the supervisor and supervisee to zoom in on certain portions of the video that were especially great or problematic.

Dr. Couture also appreciates the ability to easily administer the Valt system. For example she can control user access to the system and how long the videos remain in the system without adding time on to her job.

She points out that, “it is very easy with the Valt system for capturing videos and then recording and reviewing them later, or do live supervision in a different room.”

“I think most students now are looking for the best training environment they can,” says Dr. Couture, “and the Valt system helps us provide that.”