ONLINE COUNSELLING

GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE VIDEO SESSIONS

  • Ensure you have a safe, quiet space to have the session. If others are at home, ensure they know not to disturb you for the duration of our session. If finding a safe space at home is problematic, consider other options such as using a car.

  • Use headphones if others are around. Avoid noise-cancelling headphones as this might cause you to raise your voice if you can't hear yourself!

  • Ideally use as big a screen as you have available with your camera able to show from the top of your head down to at least chest height. Monitors, large tablets and laptops are therefore preferable to mobile phones.

  • Place your device on a stable surface to avoid movement, ideally with the camera at head level.  

  • Ensure any principal light source is in front or to the side of you, or above you. If it is behind you, I will see you as a silhouette with over-exposed light behind you.

  • Ensure you are close enough to the router to ensure sufficient bandwidth for video. If not, consider buying a wireless range extender or powerline adaptors (which can provide a wired connection through your electrical wiring; also known as home plugs).

  • If your internet connection is slow, do an online broadband speed test and contact your internet provider if it seems you are getting less than the minimum speed advertised. Also be aware of whether others in your household might be streaming content on the same network. Or consider using your mobile data if it provides a better connection.

  • Test your software and webcam, microphone etc in advance of our session (especially if you haven't used it for a while) to make sure it all works properly and has the latest updates already installed.

  • Ensure your computer has adequate security - firewalls, encrypted wireless network, anti-virus software etc.

  • Switch your device on and log in to Skype/VSee at least 15 minutes before our session is due to start. Close all other applications that use the internet.

  • Switch off notifications from apps and websites as much as possible to avoid distraction during the session (especially if using a mobile device).

  • After the session you might return to work/home life etc. straight away. Consider whether you need time and space after the session to process whatever has come up.