A Guide to Online Therapy

This guide will help you make the most of your online therapy sessions. SKYPE is encrypted and more private than other video call platforms, so is ideal for online therapy. It’s important that your sessions via Skype are a good, peaceful space and a time that you look forward to each week and take seriously. Making your sessions physically comfortable, private and confidential both for yourself and your therapist is crucial, as it allows either side to feel at ease enough to speak freely and fully concentrate for an hour without distraction.

Is Your Appointment Confirmed?

First ensure that your psychotherapy session has been properly booked.  Namely, that you have pre-paid well before your session starts.  You should also have sent email confirmation of your payment well before 10pm on the day your appointment was offered and received a confirmation of the booking from your therapist.

Click to connect to your therapist

Download Skype

Click the icon above to download and install SKYPE onto your device.

Time in the UK (GMT)

Check the Time of Your Appointment

Your appointment will have been issued on Greenwich Mean Time in the UK. If you live in a different time zone, check the time difference by clicking on the link above.

Click to connect to your therapist

Comfort

Use a soft chair like an armchair, rather than a hard office chair and desk.  It’s important to make your environment as comfortable as possible, and that you are in a relaxed posture during your session, much as you would be in a face-to-face session.  Sitting for an hour or longer on a hard seat or in a busy environment will make sessions feel tense and counter-productive.  Walking around or being in a vehicle or public place are inappropriate for psychotherapy work.

Notebook

Keep your notebook and pen to hand, and your diary for appointments.

Clock

Keep a clock or watch in front of you to help you keep track of time in order to pace your session.

Use a Large Screen

Using a device with as large a screen as possible will improve your experience of the session.  By contrast, a small screen e.g. a phone, will impact upon your experience and diminish your sense of relationship with the therapist.

Click to connect to your therapist

Keep your camera in a fixed, stable position with at least a head-to-waist view, if not wider, as you would be seen if attending a session in-person. Being able to see the whole you is important for the kind of psychotherapy offered.

Choose a Wide Angle

Try to set your camera up so that the field of view is fairly wide as in the image above (ideally head to waist or wider).  For more in-depth experiential psychotherapy work you may need to create an even wider view of your room (this will be explained during your sessions).

Click to connect to your therapist

Sessions should be free from interruptions of all kinds, including pets and other people

Zero Interruptions

  • There should be no other people present in the room or coming in and out of the room
  • Phones should be powered off to avoid signal interruption (including vibrating mode)
  • Alarms should be turned off
  • Email and social media notifications off
  • Doorbells off if possible
  • Shut off ambient noise from open windows, music etc
  • Pets should be kept out of the room and quiet
  • If travelling you should be in a private, quiet, stationary environment where our conversation cannot be overheard or interrupted

Consider How You Will be Viewed and Heard

Ensure that your device is fully charged or plugged into power and that your SKYPE audio and video are working properly a few minutes before the session

Ensure that you have a reliable connection to the internet. Poor signals and low bandwith will result in an interrupted session, with frequent picture freezing and dropped signals.

Use a well lit room free from visual distractions, with the strongest light illuminating your face, not the background.  Sitting facing a window is ideal for maximising image clarity.

Low cost 720p camera: Logitech C270 HD Webcam

Logitech C922 Pro Stream 1080p HD Webcam

Use the best quality camera and microphone that you can obtain. Being heard and seen clearly will enhance the session quality. Poor cameras and microphones compromise your online sessions. Consider buying an upgraded camera with mic of at least 720p or 1080p resolution, which will improve your therapist’s ability to support you by helping him see and hear you clearly.

Clean your camera lens so that you can be easily and clearly seen

Keep your camera in a fixed, stable position at eye level and avoid hand-held or lap-supported devices as movement of the device creates visual and audible distractions

Ensure that your audio is clear and loud enough to avoid you having to raise your voice or strain to hear your therapist. This will make communicating easier and more relaxed.

If you have a cluttered or messy room, consider using Skype backdrops that blur the background  (Images of people, animals etc are very distracting and thus not appropriate backgrounds for doing therapy on SKYPE) Go to Skype settings > audio and video > select Blur.

Click to connect to your therapist

Call Your Therapist via Skype

Finally, at the exact appointment time (UK time – GMT) call your therapist to start the session by clicking on the therapyeurope.org logo above.

Don’t wait for your therapist to contact you, and if you have problems starting, email or send a SKYPE message right away.

Direct link: https://join.skype.com/invite/iSHADNOijR8T

Online Therapy Terms

You are responsible for ensuring that minimal working conditions for your online therapy sessions are in place prior to the session commencing.  Your therapist reserves the right to end a therapy session early where your environmental conditions render it impossible to conduct psychotherapy or counselling within professional boundaries, or where conditions are so distracting, uncomfortable or compromising of confidentiality, that they undermine the therapeutic process e.g. other persons coming in and out of the room, inappropriate location, extraneous noise, interruptions or noise from kids, pets etc.

Click to connect to your therapist

Using SKYPE for Couples, Family and Group Therapy

video tutorial for SKYPE video conference call for MAC

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