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Setting up for your Online Psychotherapy Sessions

1. Place laptop so that webcam is at eye level

This simple trick means you do not look down at your therapist and your therapist will seem to be facing you more directly. 

2. Sit with a light source in front of you

Ideally try to sit facing a window  and if this is not possible, or late at night, place a light source in front of you.  A simple desk light or table light works perfectly.  Avoid sitting with bright light behind you as your face will appear in shadow.

3. Test your setup

Is the image clear enough and does your audio work?  If you have been sent the link you the meeting click on it and test that it works.  Go to Zoom settings and check that your cam, speakers and microphone work well.  



3. Protect your privacy

Ensure you are joining your therapy session from a private space using hardware that is secure i.e. virus protection software is up-to-date and the system is free of spyware or other recording software.  It might be worth reading through the information provided by the UK National Cyber Security Centre, here.

Use head phones if worried that you might be overheard during your online therapy session.   

Some thoughts about webcam mediated therapies

In recent years the emergence of e-therapy delivered via webcam has been used very effectively in providing professional supporting to individuals and couples.   Over the past 10 years I have researched, trained and developed my skills in working with couples and individuals online.  I spearheaded the development of Tavistock Relationships online clinical services.  I helped develop technique, train clinicians and have provided hundred's of hours of clinical supervision to couple psychotherapists working in these services.  I have seen couples and individuals seeking my services across the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia.  


While some sceptics argue that the change from face-to-face to online work mutates the nature of therapy many couples find the medium meets their needs exceptionally well.  The reasons couples seek online support are diverse.  The medium offers the convenience of not having to commute to the therapist’s consulting room, reducing the time and expense involved.  While there are privacy risks involved with any form of online transaction, couples often appreciate the increased confidentiality afforded by a medium that allow them to seek help while avoiding questions about their whereabouts from family and friends.  Moreover, there are some couples for whom online couple therapy is the only viable option when no trained therapists are available close by or when mobility restrictions render access to therapy problematic.   


Living Apart Together (LAT) couples, that is couples who are committed to one another but live in separate households sometimes in different countries, find that online therapy allows them to connect with an experienced couple therapist from where they are located making couple support a real possibility. 


In my view, online therapy has some limitations and is not suitable for all individuals and couples, but it is generally better to access the services of a well-qualified and experienced couple therapist then of one lacking necessary specialisation and experience.  If you are interested in online therapy, please email or call me and I will happily answer any queries you might have.   

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