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What to expect when starting online therapy


If you wish to start online counselling, or you wish to continue your counselling online due to the current social distancing measures, then your first step is to ask your counsellor. The process from then on is quite simple:

  •  Your counsellor will send you 1 or 2 simple questionnaire forms for you to complete and return. These forms are designed to help your counsellor assess whether online counselling is appropriate for you at this time. 

  • Once you and your counsellor have agreed to go ahead with online counselling and agreed a date and time, your next step is to choose the device you would prefer to use for your counselling, this can be a computer, tablet or mobile phone. 

  • Your counsellor and you will then agree on which online platform you are going to use, as mentioned above, this will usually be Zoom.  In order to ensure that your meetings happen reliably, you will need to check that your device and internet connection meet the minimum requirements.


  • Now that your device and platform have been chosen, your counsellor will send you a link to join a meeting with them at the agreed scheduled session time. 

  • A short time before your scheduled counselling session is due to begin, you will need to access Zoom. To access your meeting click on the link contained in your appointment confirmation email. Depending on your browser, the first time you use Zoom you may be prompted to download the Zoom software. This will only take a moment to complete by following the onscreen instructions. 


  • Once downloaded, you will be able to join your meeting. If your therapist has not yet entered the meeting, a waiting screen will appear. Your video screen will automatically load once the therapist has also joined the meeting.

       Please click here for more information on using Zoom, including system requirements and troubleshooting.

Practical things to consider before having your first online counselling session

  • It is important to identify a quiet private space, protected from possible disturbance (for example away from other family members, children, pets etc.).

  •  To protect your confidentiality only use password protected Wi Fi also please ensure you have up to date Virus protection and/or Fire wall.

  • Position your webcam in a way that the therapist can see you. If you are attending as part of a couple, it is important that your therapist can see you both well (ideally from the waist up) and that there is adequate lighting in front of you so that your face is not in the shadow (desk light or perhaps window).

  • Try to reduce the source of light from behind you as it will make it harder for the therapist to see you. He or she will be doing the same.

  • Working in therapy remotely may feel a little odd at first, but we work this way with many couples and individuals and can reassure you, it settles down quickly and starts to feel more normal.

  • Check your video and audio quality and make sure you have the e-mail link ready before the session,  allow at least 15 minutes to set up before the session begins.

  • Have your mobile phone nearby, if there are any technical issues resulting in loss of your video link your therapist will call you to discuss how to proceed or offer technical support if required.


  • Please be assured that I will never just end a session with you without discussion, if the video link ends it would be due to technical issues.


It's important to stress that although online counselling is a really effective way to continue with therapy during these incredibly difficult times, it is very different to being in the same room as your counsellor bringing both benefits and challenges. 


     Please click here for some areas you may not have thought about and what to consider.

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