Our guide to online counseling: logistics, technical difficulties, and best practice recommendations
What to Expect
You’ll receive a private, one time use link prior to session. All you need to do is click on the link a minute before session. You’ll be prompted to enter your name and then come into the therapy room.
If you are using your computer, you will not need to download anything ahead of time. Just make sure that your browser is allowed to access your microphone and your camera!
If you’re using your cell phone, you will need to download the Simple Practice video app. When you go to the session link, it will prompt you to do so. Just be sure to leave a few minutes before our first session to download the app.
If we experience technical difficulties before or during our session – for example, the internet goes out, or our sound doesn’t work – our back up is a telephone call. I will text you at the number provided in your paperwork to see if you’d like to switch to phone, and then call you. We can also reschedule if you prefer to wait until we can use video.
Now that we’ve been doing this awhile, we have a few ideas of how to help it go smoothly.
Meeting online incurs different considerations than when we meet in person. In person, I can make sure that we have a private, comfortable space. When we meet online, I cannot arrange our space in the same way as I can in my office. Instead, I have a few recommendations:
- Find the spot that is most comfortable to you, and has items or decor that you find calming or soothing. You might even have your pet next to you.
- If there are other people in your home or wherever you are, use headphones. This ensures that people at least cannot overhear what I am saying to you.
- Bring some water, tissues, a snack, tea, or whatever you feel you may need. These are all things I tend to offer at my office – we can do our best work when our needs are met, so please be sure to take care of yourself with whatever you need.
- Have a backup plan. If we get disconnected, it is convenient to have your phone nearby so that we can quickly figure out what is going on. That way, we lose as little time as possible.