A little preparation ahead of your first online therapy appointment will ensure you get the most out of your time with your therapist.
Most people are initially apprehensive about their first online therapy session, this is completely normal. Take it from me, and feedback from the thousands of people now accessing therapy this way, online therapy works just as well as most face to face therapy, if not better.
You are able to access the best treatment for your needs without the need for travel, and from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you feel happy to talk.
Our top TEN tips are here to help you feel really prepared for your first appointment & get the very best video.
Once you have completed the My Therapist Online registration form, we will put you directly in touch with your chosen qualified therapist.
Next you will meet for a FREE 15 minute initial consultation ahead of your first full appointment.
1) Check your internet connection
Online video therapy requires a reliable and reasonably fast internet speed.
A good and steady connection makes online treatment sessions run as smoothly as possible.
We strongly recommend using wired connection instead of Wi-Fi for a more stable connection during a call.
If it’s not an option, try moving your device closer to the Wi-Fi hotspot or router.
2) Choose the best video platform for you.
My Therapist Online allows you to request using your preferred video platform, so you are as comfortable as possible. Alternatively your therapist can recommend a platform such as VSee, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime.
Download the necessary software - Typically video platforms require some software to be downloaded and an account set up, so try to do this well ahead of your first session.
Links to download the most commonly used video platforms
Zoom - www.zoom.us
To get a zoom account you need an email, password & filling in a short profile section is all that’s needed to set up a Zoom account.
The installation process is quick and straightforward.
Information on setting up was easy to find and I only needed an email address and login.
FaceTime - this is only compatible with Apple products (iPhones, Macs and iPads) and should already be available on your device
Google Hangouts - There is a quick plugin for Google Hangouts that requires a browser restart. You can download this from here — www.google.com/tools/dlpage/hangoutplugin
Skype - is very easy to download. Click on the link and follow the download instructions for your device. https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/
3) Do a Test Call
If you haven’t already, do a test call to make sure everything works. Familiarise yourself with your video platform settings, such as knowing Know where the video and audio settings are located.
If you are uncomfortable using the software, practice calling friends and family. The more you familiar you are with video calls, the easier you will find those first few appointments.
4) Choose a quiet location
For a good quality therapy session we recommend you find a place where you have privacy and quiet.
Find somewhere that you know you will not be disturbed. This way you can really concentrate on your appointment without distractions and with the confidence that nobody is listening to what you talk about.
Make sure you set the settings on your security settings on your video platform to as high as you feel necessary.
5) Good sound quality is important
We recommend using a headset or earbud which avoids an echo, ensures your therapist's words are not overheard and provides a better sound quality on the call.
People who have benefited from online therapy, have reported that a headset also helps the to focus on their online therapy session.
6) Bring your camera to eye level
By raising your computer up a little (on some books or folders) you will have both a better face shot of you, as well as it being better for your posture.
7) Good lighting
Make sure you have good lighting, bright enough so your therapist can see your face. Lights behind you can cause your face to be in shadow, so try to sit somewhere where there is either natural light or a light in front of your face.
8) Plug In Your Charger
Video drains your battery more than nearly any other program you can run on your computer. If you are using a laptop or tablet, charging it to 100% is a great idea. An even better idea is to have your laptop plugged in.
9) Agree a back up plan with your therapist
If the internet connection fails, try re-connecting.
If using wifi - Turn off other wifi using devices if possible.
Agree a plan with your therapist if the connection fails.
10) Items to have nearby during your appointment:
a note pad and pen to take any useful notes during your appointment
a glass of water or warm drink
your power lead
I hope this helps you get the best quality video, so you can get the most out of your course of therapy. If you have any questions about anything covered in this post or would like any information about online therapy, please send us an email
I do hope we can help you to move towards your personal goals.