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Videoconferencing brings art therapy into focus

November 1, 2013 | Telepresence Options

lifesize

Story and images by John Breeden II / GCN

George Washington University�has a robust art therapy training program, but it needed a better way to record and study the individual art therapy sessions, in which every brush stroke, color choice and design element can be a clue into a patient's mind.�

At GW's Art Therapy Program, students learn by observing clients create art projects as part of the client's therapy. Sessions are recorded for later examination or observed in real time by licensed art therapists and university professors. But until recently, GW relied on older recording and video management technology that came with a lot of drawbacks.

Randall Shore, information systems analyst for the Columbian College Office of Technology Services at GW said the university initially set up cameras and computers in each of the six counseling rooms, tying them to Apple QuickTime streaming media servers. That setup required the IT staff to service each system individually and created problems for students and professors who wanted to watch archived sessions.

"Everything was recorded to DVDs," Shore said. "You would have DVDs go missing. They would be labeled wrong or not be labeled at all. And they were all kept in the same place, which meant there was no access control over the information."

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