Online Therapy Sessions: A Guide For Clients
Read on for what to expect in a teletherapy session, what equipment will make the connection better, and how to set yourself up to make the most of your session!
What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy is a talk therapy session that occurs through phone or video call, rather than in-person. Through teletherapy, you meet with a licensed, qualified therapist via a secure online platform from the convenience of your home or other private location.
Some therapists offer both in-person sessions and teletherapy, which can be a convenient option whenever you can’t make it to your therapist’s office.
Equipment to prepare
- Fully charged Laptop, desktop, or tablet with webcam and audio connection. If you can, have your device plugged in and charging during your session, or ensure the device is fully charged prior to your session.
- Earphones or headphones are strongly recommended to prevent sound echoing and to allow you to fully focus on the conversation with your therapist. (not necessary for Mel)
- High speed internet: Internet with a bandwidth of at least 10 mbps is recommended for highest quality and to prevent connection issues. To check your internet connection, Google search “internet speed test” and click on the blue button that says “Run Speed Test.” If it shows your wifi is under 10mbps, you may want to restart your router or discuss an alternative option with your provider, such as a phone call.
- Your phone as backup: Have your fully-charged phone next to you as back up, in case of any technical difficulties which may require you to switch to a phone call or a different video call platform.
Note: Phones are not recommended for teletherapy for the following reasons:
- There are more notifications you’ll need to turn off to avoid disruption during session
- Your phone might run out of battery if you are using the jack for earphones rather than charging
- The screen is smaller, and therefore offers a less immersive therapy experience.
Environment to prepare
- Good lighting: Sit next to the window if possible, or if your appointment is after sunset or in a location without a window, bring in as much artificial light as possible. Moving a desk lamp or standing lamp in front of you can help, as can removing any lighting behind you.
- A quiet space: Find a quiet space in your home: ideally in a private room, but in a studio apartment, available closets or the bathroom are also options. Shut windows, doors, and ask other household members to lower the sound of their music speakers.
- Privacy: Sharing an apartment or house with other people? Let them know you are having a therapy session (or if you’re not comfortable with that, consider saying s a “doctors appointment” or “important private conversation”) and ask them to move to a different room, listen to music, and or use these silicone earplugs that block out noise. Alternatively, you can purchase a white noise machine to muffle what you’re saying. Put a “Do not disturb” note up on your door and lock the door so you don’t have to be worried about being distracted in the middle of your session.
If there is no private, quiet indoor space available to you, consider your outdoor options: if the weather forecast is clear, you might request a phone call from your therapist, which you could take walking around a park (or in your car, if you have one), or another safe, secluded outdoor area.
To get started with online therapy sessions, feel free to click the link below, or give me a call at [email protected].