Galit Ferguson Psychotherapy Counselling Horizon

Tips for online therapy

Here are 9 tips for getting the most from your online therapy sessions:

1. Privacy

The most important thing is privacy. If we meet in person, it is my responsibility to provide a private setting. When we meet remotely, it’s up to you to do this. Please do what you need to do to make certain you're in a private place where you will not be overheard or interrupted. 

2. Comfort level

Sit a comfortable chair but don’t recline in bed. Try to position yourself as you would if we were meeting in person, maybe in a work space if you have one. 

3. Buffer zone

If possible, leave yourself 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time before and after your sessions. The time before the sessions allows you to put your activities to one side, and for your thoughts to move to therapy. The time after sessions allows you to reflect. This “buffer” time before and after is important and can be seen as part of the process. 

4. Managing the screen

You don't have to keep your eyes fixed on the screen if you don't want to. During in-person therapy, both client and therapist make and break off eye contact as part of the ebb and flow of human communication. Some people find it helpful to position their screen at an angle instead of facing it straight on. Others prefer to reduce the size of the video window or to sit further away from their screen than they would if they were at work. 

5. Dress

Dress as you would if we were meeting in person. Even if it doesn't show on screen, you knowing what you are wearing can affect the therapy. 

6. Location

Try to meet from the same location each time, as will I, because consistency is important.

7. Equipment

As if you were in a consulting room, keep some tissues nearby. You could also have a glass of water nearby, but don’t snack or eat during your session. 

8. Minimising distractions

Put your other devices on silent and close any applications running in the background. 

9. Maintaining the connection

If technological problems are affecting your audio or video let me know (as will I), so that we find ways to maintain the connection. 

adapted from Jonathan Shedler's teletherapy guidelines, via Todd Essig and Gillian Isaacs Russell