Another important part of your telehealth session is your office space. Though telehealth eliminates the need for you to rent out office space if you do not want it, you must still have a designated, secure space for your telehealth sessions. Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding your space:
- Privacy: Select a space for your online therapy sessions that is private and free of distractions. You want to make sure that no one else can hear the conversation between you and your client.
- Noise level: ensure that there are no noises that could be distracting to you or the client during your session. This includes doorbells, noises from outside, TVs, radios, and other conversations.
- Visual distractions: Your background in the camera should be free of all clutter. We recommend having a neutral colored wall so it does not distract your client.
- Lighting: Try to maintain a consistent light source throughout your online therapy session. Avoid having light sources behind you as this can cause your face to be shadowed. Make sure your face is fully lit and in the frame during your session. We recommend placing lights around the room or ensuring you have good natural light in your space. Try to keep windows and curtains closed if they are behind you, both to ensure you have consistent lighting and also to protect the privacy of your clients.
- Clothing: Even though you may not be leaving your home, dressing professionally during your telehealth sessions is important. Wear clothing that is in contrast with your background, but try to avoid patterns because they can be visually distracting and cause eye strain for your clients.
- Eye contact: Maintaining eye contact during your online sessions is imperative. You want your client to feel as if they have your full attention. Avoid doing other work, looking at other screens, or taking notes for long periods. It can be distracting, and even unnerving, for your clients if they see you constantly looking away. Be mindful of your eye contact and explain to your clients why you are looking away when it is necessary.