Dr Laura Hutchison
Making the Most of Your TeleHealth Therapy Sessions
Due to the necessary safety precautions needed currently to protect against CoVid19 our therapists, and therapists around the world, are switching to TeleHealth sessions. Although it's not ideal and we much rather meet with clients in person, TeleHealth offers us a safe option to continue our therapeutic work. And, getting support during these challenging times where are lives and routines have been turned upside down is essential. In fact, these times may have those who weren't previously seeking mental health services choosing to begin therapy.
So, whether you were a previously or currently attending therapy, or if you're a brand new referral, here are some tips in making the most of your TeleHealth therapy sessions...
- Sign an informed consent for TeleHealth services from your provider
- You will need a desktop computer with a webcam & speakers,
OR a laptop computer with built-in webcam and speakers,
OR a tablet with build-in webcam and speakers,
OR a smartphone
- Have a good internet connection, at least 10mbps
- Find a quiet, private location for the session (a room with a closed door, or even your car)
- Position the camera so that your therapist can see your full face (helps to pick up non-verbal cues)
- Try to keep the camera in a solid location; avoid moving around unless necessary
- Consider using a sound machine or a fan to mute the conversation if others are home with you
- Consider using headphones for a more private session
- Put your phone in silent mode, close other tabs on your computer to reduce distractions
- Turn off or mute your smart home devices (Alexa, Siri, etc.)
- Discuss with your therapist an alternative way to contact each other if the TeleHealth platform isn't working (bad connections, lag, etc)
Most clients (and therapists!) are finding that once getting started on TeleHealth they get more comfortable with the new way connecting and conducting therapy pretty quickly. It does become more natural after time.