Tele-Therapy FAQs and Tips
Currently, I am only seeing clients by telephone or online video. I love doing face to face work but working by distance is just as effective and impactful. Some clients even find that they prefer it.
The following are answers to the most common questions from clients about how this works.
GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT TELE-THERAPY
WHAT IS TELE-THERAPY?
Tele-therapy really just means therapy/counseling that takes place in real-time via digital communication. Some counselors have been doing this form of therapy for decades by telephone. Today, the addition of internet video has made tele-therapy an even richer experience.
IS TELE-THERAPY SECURE?
Absoultely. I use a secure, HIPAA-compliant, encrypted video platform called Doxy.me that was designed for healthcare practitioners. It is comparable encryption to using your bank’s website.
QUESTIONS ABOUT ACCESSING A SESSION
HOW DO I CONNECT WITH MY COUNSELOR?
Prior to your session, you should receive an email that contains a link to your video session. About 5 minutes or so before your session, click the link.
You can use a computer, phone, or tablet. You will not need to download anything for your session. If you are having trouble with the link try using Google Chrome or Firefox browsers to access it. The link will launch a webpage where you’ll be asked to allow the website to use your camera and microphone. Go ahead and allow it. You’ll land at a webpage that gives you options to change which camera or speakers are being used (almost all clients will just use the default) and gives you a space to type in your name (just a first name is fine). Once you are done, click the button to join the session.
TIPS FOR A GREAT TELE-THERAPY SESSION
Bigger Devices Are Better
While we can and have done sessions with clients who are using their phones, the small screen and the fatigue of holding up a phone in front of you can detract from the session. Use a computer or tablet if you can. If a phone is your best option, find a way to prop the phone up in front of you rather than trying to hold it.
Check The Shot
When you are getting ready to log in to your session, the webpage will display your video feed. Take a moment to frame yourself well. Ideally, you will be
visible from about mid-chest up
framed so your head won’t be cut off
at about eye-level with the camera
well-lit with light coming towards you (and not backlit)
Whenever possible, please use headphones. This ensures that you can hear us well. It also keeps us from hearing ourselves coming back from your speakers through your microphone which can be very distracting from the session.
Select a Good Space
To the extent possible, pick a place that will work well for you to be focused on the session and not interrupted or distracted. People walking through, pets clammoring for attention, un-finished chores staring at you from across the room, and other factors like that may end up detracting from the session. Honor your therapy time by finding the best space possible for it.
Protect Your Connection
If possible, ask that family members or roommates go easy on the bandwidth while you are in session. Streaming movies or playing online video games can slow down the internet connection and cause lags in our session.