Getting Started With Moving Forward
Before your first online or telephone session, there are a few protocols and items you should be aware of:
- I realize that this may feel 'weird' and different, and it may take time to adjust to this format for counselling. By having an open dialogue about what is working well and what can use some attention, we should be able to address any issues that arise.
- Please ensure that the audio and video (if using video) are working at an optimal level.
- It is important to find a space where the chances of being interrupted are minimized. So, I would ask you to find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted during the session.
- If engaging in online therapy, sometimes the closer you are to your modem, the better the reception.
- Please ensure that you have privacy and feel comfortable in that space. It is crucial to find an area conducive to doing therapeutic work, so the space should be as uncluttered as possible.
- Please refrain from using any substances that may impair your ability to engage (with the exception of any medications – though if these medications impair, please try to take well before or after the session if at all possible).
- Feel free to bring something to drink, such as coffee, tea, juice or water.
- Please sit comfortably, preferably in a chair. It is best to sit the same way you would sit if we were sitting across from each other in a counselling office.
- At any time you feel the need to adjust the environment or your audio and/or video, please don't hesitate to speak up.
- Please feel free to offer suggestions on any other ways we can make these counselling sessions as comfortable as possible for you.
- For online sessions, the camera setup is important. To best simulate an in-person interaction, counsellors would like to see you from chest up or waist up. As much of what we communicate is through body language, it is ideal if we can see more than just your face.
- If, for any reason, the call or video drops, please wait, and try to reconnect. If unable to reconnect, we may call you from a more secure phone line. This phone line may show up as 'private.'
- A reminder that we will only be online for the scheduled session and that communication outside of those times should only be if you need to reschedule an appointment. Any personal matters arising outside of the session during the course of the week should be saved for the set appointment.
- The agency phone we use is internet-based and is turned off when we are not on practicum. Any messages, therefore, may not be seen for several days