This is here to help you get your space and your tech set up before your first online session (or maybe not your first!). The information below should help you figure out what to do.

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.)

Technical Setup:

  • 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

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!

After that, you’ll want to close out of any programs you don’t need which use your Internet connection.

Online Etiquette

A few considerations once you’ve found a quiet, safe, and confidential space:

  • Do not drive or complete other tasks while you’re in the meeting — this is dangerous
  • Treat a live session as though you were in a physical meeting. Always connect via video – and leave it on for the duration of your meeting – (only turn off video when absolutely needed, the same way you would step out of physical meeting).
  • Be sure to connect in a location that has strong internet connectivity
  • Make sure your face can be seen on the camera and be aware of what is in the background so there are no distractions for your therapist.
  • Dress appropriately
  • To avoid background noises becoming a distraction for others, simply mute yourself when you’re not speaking for a fair amount of time.
  • Listen carefully show that you’re listening