GETTING THE VERY BEST FROM OUR ONLINE SESSIONS
Updated 12th June 2020
I am delighted that so many of my clients and professional supervisees have adapted so easily, seamlessly even, to working with me online. Thank you! Some of the challenges which have presented are addressed below.
If you have previously worked with me face to face in person, online sessions can feel very different. They can feel different in pace and tone and perhaps more informal and this can be both a help or a hinderance!
The following information is to help both of us get the very best out of working together online. Please would you read through it carefully. I will ask you to acknowledge you have done so. I hope that you will be able to fulfil these requirements, however, should you be unable to, we would need to discuss whether working together online is the right choice.
Please ensure you have everything set up, ready in place for us to start the session at the scheduled time so we do not have to spend time getting the tech or the practicalities sorted. 50 minutes can pass very quickly indeed in therapy and supervision.
Please remember that when working with you I am not only listening to your voice, I am also looking at your face and gestures, for example your hand movements, shoulder shrugs etc. So it is absolutely essential for our work that I am easily able to see your head and shoulders clearly onscreen.
- A fast internet connection is absolutely essential for online sessions, without a fast connection online sessions can be very difficult, frustrating or impossible. Please ask any others in your home to not use the internet at the same time as your session to maximise your bandwidth.
- Turn off all other electronic equipment eg phones and watches.
- Turn off all notifications eg texts, alerts and emails on your device.
- If you are concerned you may be overheard you can use headphones so only your voice can be heard.
- Use a laptop or tablet not a phone. When using a tablet please use it statically not handheld.
- Position your camera at eye level if necessary using books etc to raise your device. When Prince Charles opened the Nightingale Hospital London using his iPad, he placed it on top of a box and some books. I do not want to be looking at your ceiling or up your nose!
- Check your image before we start to make sure you are looking directly at the camera with your head and shoulders on screen to replicate as natural a conversation as possible.
- Also before we start check your image beforehand for lighting ensuring that your face is well lit and not in shadow.
- Please do not sit with your back against a window (backlit) as I will not be able to see you well.
- Please ensure that no artificial lights are interfering with the view onscreen as they can be distracting.
- Please do not leave the session before the end.
Software and Confidentiality
- My preferred platform is FaceTime as it relatively stable and secure using Apple’s own servers. However, you will need an Apple device (iPad or Mac) to use FaceTime. Please use email@example.com for FaceTime and not my text only number ending 111.
- I am also pleased to use my 2nd choice platform Zoom which has a really good interface and good, continually enhanced security. I will need to email you a unique one-off Zoom connection code before each Zoom session.
- My third preference is Skype. To use Skype you will need to first invite me using my Skype name – alkel777.
- I do not use WhatsApp.
- Please ensure that you have regularly updated virus software. password protection and firewalls installed on your devices.
Location, Privacy and Confidentiality
- Locate yourself alone in a closed, private space where we will not be disturbed or interrupted by people, noise, calls or pets. Please close the door.
- Please be seated comfortably, not lying down or walking around during our session.
- Do not have pets in the room during a session.
- As with a physical session, be ready to start our session exactly on time.
- I will expect you to initiate the session by you contacting me at the start of the session.
- I do not allow sessions to be audio or video recorded.
- I do not allow clients to make notes by hand or electronically during the session.
- I do expect professional supervises to make notes during the session.
- You may have a hot or cold drink during the session but no food please.
- If our session is interrupted because the connection drops out and we cannot continue online we will continue the session by phone. Please call me on 020 8947 5171 to continue by phone. Should I not hear from you I will contact you by phone or text.
When working together with me in person, face to face, you have some transition time spent travelling to and from my physical consulting room. You may spend this time before our session thinking about your agenda for the session, what you wish to discuss with me.
For our online session it is a really good idea to also allow yourself some transition time to adjust beforehand and to think about your agenda for our session. It’s also a good idea to allow yourself some time afterwards to adjust back to your usual environment.
I have invested in the best tech at my end to ensure that I am making our sessions online as effective as possible.
Please let me have any questions about any of the above before we start our session.