During this time, while a lot of us are working from home, we now have online therapy as a way to engage in counselling and psychotherapy together. Online therapy is convenient and able to be done from home, which is so helpful right now. It is best suited to safe home situations, where you feel sure you can talk comfortably and in confidence for 50 minutes a week. It can be daunting to meet a therapist through a screen and talk about ourselves and our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Because of this it is important for us both to create a therapeutic space a bit like a therapy room together. If we decide we do want to start therapy online, it is important to prepare and get ready for therapy in advance in the ways I've explained below.
Preparation for sessions:
A good internet connection supports smoother video and audio. Run a broadband speed test to check your Internet connection is able to achieve at least 1.5Mb per second both uploading and downloading. Here is a link https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/. If it’s possible sit near the router or connect your cable to your modem during sessions.
Let people at home know you are talking privately for an hour and that you need to be alone. Make a sign to put on your door to say 'Do not disturb' or similar.
Sit at a desk with your laptop or phone fully charged and on a flat surface.
Have the lighting to the side of you, or behind the screen.
Please tell me if you can’t see or hear me, or if you are distracted by something. It may seem as if I am not looking at you sometimes. This is because I am looking at your face on my screen, rather than the camera.
Wear headphones if you could be distracted by sounds around you.
Remove other distractions, like notifications or tasks that you can see. Make sure you prioritise yourself and you can focus on our conversation.
Make sure you are comfortable. Sessions last 50 minutes and you need proper physical support, so sit in a good chair. Also make sure you feel warm or cool enough. Prioritise your valuable time and don't spend this time looking for a scarf or moving around to a warmer or cooler part of the house.
I always have water and tissues in my therapy room. You may need water and/or tissues, but please don’t eat during sessions. Therapy works best if you can concentrate on your thoughts and feelings.
To find out more about online therapy with me, book a free initial phone consultation by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.