Tips for Successful Online Sessions

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Here are some tips to prepare your space for our session together:

  • I recommend joining the video appointment a few minutes early to test your settings.

  • If you can connect to the Internet, but are having trouble joining the video, you can use our recommended Pre-call Tool.

  • To use a smartphone to join a video chat, you must first download the Telehealth by SimplePractice app available in the app store for iOS or Android.

Creating Confidential Space

Things to consider:

  • Is the space private?

  • Can you lock the door?

    • If not, will others who have access to the space respect your request for privacy and not enter the room?

      • Can you/have you had a conversation with them?

      • Were they receptive?

  • Can others outside the room hear you talking?

    • If so, can you create white noise with a fan or other form of background noise? (Preferably placed outside the doorway of the room you’re in)

    • Consider using headphones or earbuds so that your provider’s voice is kept private and is only hearable by you

If you have a hard time finding confidential space, here are some examples that others have used. These are not ideal, but should be considered secondary choices if an ideal setup is not available. If you use any of these, please make sure that the space is comfortable to you. Being comfortable is also highly important.

  • Laundry Room

  • Walk-In-Closet

  • Basement

  • Attic

  • Actual last resort: your car parked in a safe, private spot. (We want to emphasize that private does not mean secluded. Please do make sure you are in a safe location.)

 

Use headphones. This increases privacy and prevents feedback.

Technical Setup:

I will send you a link to download SimplePractice. Here is a handy guide for how to use and set-up SimplePractice's video therapy software.

  • A laptop or desktop computer are ideal — preferably the biggest screen size that you have available to you (that you can also have in a comfortable, confidential space)

  • If you’re using a tablet or phone, please prop up the device so that it is stable and that the camera is about level with your eyes

  • Whatever device you’re using, please make sure that the camera is about level with your eyes. It may require propping up your device or monitor on other items, such as books.

  • Please make sure that you’re well lit and don’t have a bright light source directly behind you

  • Restart your computer before a call.  Other software might be using computer power or interfere with your video or microphone. Restarting your computer will assure your computer is ready for video. 

  • Use fast internet with ethernet cable. Video quality adapts to internet speed, so the faster your internet connection, the better the video quality you will experience. 

  • Use a newer computer with plenty of speed. Sending and receiving video takes a lot of computer power. Old or slow computers will have a harder time processing the video, which can cause choppiness. 

  • Use low resolution. If you are experience poor quality, try lowering the resolution. By doing this it requires less bandwidth and computer power, resulting in less choppiness during your call. 

Using a desktop or laptop computer

If you plan to use a desktop or laptop, there is nothing to download prior to your appointment. Here are the steps to join:

  • Approximately 10 minutes before your appointment, you'll receive an email appointment reminder.

    • Note: If you have already consented to receiving text and/or email reminders, you will continue to receive them for Telehealth appointments as well. For new clients, make sure you have provided your email and or mobile phone number so that I can enable email or text reminders.

  • Click the unique link embedded in the reminder. You may have to copy and paste the link into your web browser if clicking the link does not work. Your video call screen will now open in a new tab.

  • If I have already joined the call, you will see my face on the screen. If I have not, you will see yourself, as shown below.

 

  • You will also see the Welcome prompt. Click Play test sound to test the your camera and microphone settings.

  • When you are ready, click Join Video Call. This will take you straight into the video call.

Tip: For information about enabling camera and microphone access, please see: How to enable camera and microphone access for Telehealth.

Using a smartphone or tablet

If you plan to use a mobile device, here are the steps to join:

  • Download Telehealth by SimplePractice (for iOS or Android) in the app store. Approximately 10 minutes before your appointment, you should receive an email appointment reminder. 

  • Open the reminder email on your device and click the unique link. This will open the Telehealth by SimplePractice app.

  • If I have already joined the call, you will see my face on the screen. If I have not, you will see yourself.

  • When you are ready, click Join Video Call. This will take you straight into the video call.

Note: There may be a slight delay for me to join the appointment if I am finishing with a previous appointment. Please be patient and I will join momentarily.

Tips courtesy of SimplePractice

Clear Your Internet:

Be sure to move your computer as close as you can to your WiFi router (the box that makes the WiFi.) Or better yet — plug your computer into the router with a cable!

Tips courtesy of Person-Centered Tech