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Therapy Groups

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37 comments

  • Official comment
    Gillian

    Alex, this is definitely on the Product team's radar, but we do not have a timeline for it currently. I'd recommend posting your idea for assigning individuals to a group for scheduling, notation, and billing to the Ideas and Suggestions board so others can weigh in with their thoughts, and upvote your idea! :) 

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  • Katie Ziskind, LMFT

    I was interested in this topic too. I am wondering how clients can book themselves in a group via my online booking widget. If I approve one app, would other people also be permitted to book too. That is what I would like, but I want to limit the group to four. Is there a limit I can set? Good topic, Alex! Thank you, Gillian!

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  • Gillian

    Hey, Katie! At this time, clients cannot self-schedule group appointments. SimplePractice is built to prevent clients double-booking you, but you can double-book yourself by adding group appointments manually.

    -1
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  • Beth Marchiano

    Definitely need a way to schedule group therapy so that the calendar is not muddled with multiple people in one time slot as well as being able to bill for them separately as well as logging the notes.  Each person attending group therapy is given a portal invite (obviously), so they should be a way to assign them such as the drop down with individual, couple, then could there be a group assignment?  That would enable group appt but still individual people for billing and documentation.  This would also enable moving the entire group with one change to the date/time as well as not muddling up the calendar with 15+ names in one time slot.  Thoughts?

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  • Tracy Lamperti

    Agreed.  Looking for this addition.

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  • Gillian

    Hi all! There's a post on the Ideas and Suggestions board for a Group Therapy Appointment type - if you agree that this is a good idea, you can show your support here: 
    https://support.simplepractice.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360014302571-Create-a-Group-Therapy-Appointment-type

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  • Patricia Fields

    Oh my this can be a deterrent for me?! I'm in the trail phase of checking this software out.

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  • Gillian

    Patricia, we have clinicians using SimplePractice with groups every day successfully! All you need to do is schedule individuals side-by-side on the calendar to create a group appointment.

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  • Patricia Fields

    I'm just trying to visualize how Alex or Beth's calendars look. If I have 8-12 people in a group I can't imagine what 8-12 names look like in one time slot. And then add 6 groups appointments on my calendar, plus the assessment appointments......that's not a good visual :)

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  • Deborah Rubin

    This is a deterrent for me as well.  Having to schedule them side by side is another thing that makes this calendar really low functioning compared to other scheduling options out there that are cheaper but just not HIPAA.  I would like to create the equivalent of an "event' and send invites to all my clients, for a group.  What i see here is that this is  not possible.  I am in the trial too and so far these calendar limitations make it seem not worth the expense because I will still have to do the work-arounds that I currently do. 

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  • Gillian

    Hi all, I wanted to give you a quick update. A feature for scheduling Group appointments in SimplePractice (instead of scheduling individuals side-by-side) is important, and we're always listening to our customers to learn what we could improve. 

    We love the idea of this enhancement and are currently working toward it. Right now, we're building new features that will offer more flexibility over intakes, appointment reminders, portal access, and billing delegation for couples, minors, and families. Once those updates are complete, we plan to add new appointment types and controls for managing group sessions with multiple participants. We don't yet have a timeline for when these features will be available but we are actively developing them now. 

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  • Catherine Markosky

    RE: GROUP THERAPY with multiple individuals who may be different each group, group session paid for by third party (agency) not individual.

    To keep it "simple".....This is what we are looking for and I assume what everyone on the community board who comments about this missing feature is in need of:

     
    1. Adding "GROUP" to drop down menu that only has Individual and Couple listed
    2. Adding a populated drop down menu of all clients in the individual database in order to select which individuals attended the group session on that date
    3. Adding a client subgroup "AGENCY" and then be able to bill the Agency not the individual client
     
    All of the above should be a simple developer change  I add drop downs to my website and populated lists easily without hiring a Pro.  We offer EAGALA services at our center and the primary clients we have are agencies who bring in groups of individuals. The agency pays the bill and the individuals are never the same each session. Some sessions are 2 hours, others are 4. Some are quarterly, some are weekly. 
     
    It would be FANTASTIC if Simple Practice could add these features. EAGALA promotes Simple Practice, and that is how I came to research your portal.
     
    Thank you.
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  • Gillian

    Hi Catherine, we're actively working toward this enhancement to SimplePractice! Like therapy, software development takes time, care, and consideration - we'll continue to work hard at bringing this new feature to you. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

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  • Vikram S Chiruvolu, LGPC Clin. Supv. J Jacques, LPC, ACS

    Hi!  Any update on this? 

    Also, it's significant for me to be able to take group notes on one webpage.   

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  • Gillian

    Hi Vikram, we're still actively working on more functionality for group therapy scheduling and notes. In late 2019 we released the first set of features that will facilitate this, Enhanced Client Management for Minors, and we look forward to releasing Enhanced Client Management for Couples - the next phase - later in 2020. You can vote for Enhanced Client Management for Groups and Classes on our Ideas board here, which will also subscribe you to updates from our team on this project's status. https://simplepractice.uservoice.com/forums/918553/suggestions/36345115

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  • Cryssol Marquez

    More than ever this is essential....

    Any updates?

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  • Ruth

    Hi Cryssol,

    The best way to track our progress on this feature is to head over to our Ideas and Suggestions board and vote, or comment on our Enhanced Client Management for Groups and Classes here: 

    https://simplepractice.uservoice.com/forums/918553/suggestions/36345115

    Once you've done this, you'll be subscribed to updates on this project status from our team. 

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  • Lisa Creef

    Will this be happening any time soon?  If so, I'll sign up after the 30 days, if not, I don't think so.  I do a lot of groups.

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  • Ayelette

    Hi Lisa,

    We don't have an ETA for the group therapy feature. The best way to follow our progress is to vote or comment on the idea here.

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  • Suzanne Apelskog

    I have similar questions to the above ones.  It sounds like groups have been on the radar for a couple years now.  I have been able to use this forum with two others online at one time, assigning a name as a client.  How many people can sign into one link at the same time?  

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  • Ayelette

    Hi Suzanne,

    We are not currently supporting more than 2 people on a Telehealth link. When we release Enhanced Client Management for Couples, that will support 3 people on the same Telehealth link. We will be announcing the release of this feature soon.

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  • Tracy Lamperti

    At the beginning of covid the link was working for therapist plus 2 individuals (I had no idea that I shouldn't even try that since other platforms it works).  At some point, that changed and I had the unfortunate experience of having given the link to both people.  Started the session with the wife, who logged on first.  Having no indication that the husband was anywhere with us, she and I began talking privately, so we thought.  Turned out he was on and could hear everything we were saying but neither of us could see or hear him.  VERY bad situation.  So I make sure now to tell couples that only one person can use the link, do NOT share it with your spouse or if you do, keep in mind that they may be on listening and we won't be able to see or hear them.  This happened with two different clients - one couple and one multigenerational guardianship case involving a parent addicted to drugs.

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  • Joseph Woodstock

    Any updates with this? I'm an energy worker teaching a modality called TRE .. Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercises.  Having a workflow where clients can update their own version of a SOAP note would be great. If SimplePractice can't do that, is there a suggestion for a tool that would?

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  • Ruth

    Hi Joseph, you're welcome to duplicate the SOAP Note and make it an Intake Form so that you can share it with your clients as fillable questionnaires. To do this go to your Settings > Notes & Forms, click the + sign to the right of the SOAP Note > click on the duplicated SOAP Note and use the dropdown menu to change the template type from Progress Note to Intake Form. Your clients won't be able to edit, or work off of a previously entered SOAP Note that you created for them, but you can send them the blank note to fill out on their own. To share this note, you'll want to go back to your client's file > Share and select SOAP Note. 

    Tracey, sorry to hear about your experience, it's likely that the husband hadn't enabled his camera at the start of the session. We've recently updated the Telehealth platform to include a "Chime" sound notification anytime a new person enters the Telehealth session, which will hopefully prevent these instances from occurring. 

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  • Julie A. Dodson

    Hi there, since we are definitely in a year during which comprehensive Telehealth options have become mandatory, how quickly can we anticipate being able to invite far more to video therapy groups (than the three currently supported for couples sessions)? I have had multiple requests to offer virtual therapy groups, specifically among those struggling with intensified anxiety, trauma, etc., as a result of COVID-19. For multiple reasons, we need to be able to offer everything possible, virtually, including groups. 

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  • Gillian

    Hi Julie, we're still actively working on updates to SimplePractice's Telehealth platform that will allow for more functionality for groups and classes. Thanks for your patience as we continue to work hard on developing these new features. 

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  • Lucien Izraylov

    Is there a option to do like a master group note, for instance if I conducted a SA group consisting of 12 people would I be able to submit a master group note and enter all participants into the note and do the individual notes for them or would I manually have to enter notes in for each individual client....

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  • Jennifer Ketler

    Lucien,

    It seems like you are currently running groups.  Are they virtual and if so, how are you doing that via simple practice? These are my questions: I know that we can get more than one person on screen with one link but do not know if there is any way to ensure that people can't come back into the group after the group is over.

     

    Thanks for any support you can provide....I have so many requests for groups!

     

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  • Tracy Lamperti

    I had the same question as Jennifer.  After Lucien posted, I assumed I must have missed something and SP has a group platform live, but I went looking and I don't see anything.

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  • Ruth

    We don't currently support Group Sessions through SimplePractice, or Telehealth for group appointments with more than two clients, we do have an alternative workflow that may help you hold Telehealth sessions for your group. You'll want to create an individual client file for the Group, named something like "Group 1," you can write all progress notes for the clients in this group in the Group 1 client file. For individualized notes and billing, you may want to create co-occurring sessions (not at your Telehealth location) for each individual client to add notes and bill each participant separately. You can also learn more about hosting a 3-way Telehealth appointment using Enhanced Client Management for Couples in our guide Multi-client support on Telehealth.

    While we are thoughtfully exploring formal support for larger group sessions, if you do need to hold a group Telehealth appointment for more than 2 clients in the meantime, we have an alternative workflow you can try:

    1. Create a new client in the system. Name the client something that will help you identify which particular group this is, such as “Group X” (the “X” can be an identifying word, or number). We do not recommend identifying this group using a single person’s PHI.

    2. Create a Telehealth appointment with “Group X” selected as the client.

    3. Share the unique link from this group Telehealth appointment to each client in the group manually.

    4. Explain to the clients in the group that they must be careful not to share the link with others.

    5. If you also see a member of the group individually as a client, be sure to explain to that client that they’ll need to use the link attached to their individual appointments for their one-on-one sessions, and the manually shared group link for each group session you hold with them. 

    6. For every future appointment you have with this particular group, you’ll have to manually share the unique link to each individual before the appointment.

    7. You’ll need to repeat these steps each time you create a new group.

    Please also note that SimplePractice does not officially endorse this alternative workflow, and our team is unable to help troubleshoot issues for any group Telehealth appointments at this time. Additionally, we assume no liability or responsibility for managing these group links should you choose to create them.

    While I don’t yet have an ETA for you on when we’ll be releasing official support for group Telehealth appointments, we are actively working on it and we know it’s important. We’ll definitely keep you and the rest of our SimplePractice community updated on the status of this new feature as we continue to make progress.

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