Are you giving your clients the highest quality video therapy sessions possible?
One thing we’ve all learned over the last year is how effectively video conferencing technology can keep us connected. Unfortunately, not all of these services live up to the standards required for video therapy sessions.
That’s where Owl Practice comes in! Ever since we introduced our video therapy features, mental health professionals across the country have connected with their clients in a professional, simple, and—most importantly—SECURE way.
Though we aim to provide you with the most reliable service possible, if you’re not using appropriate equipment, then you aren’t going to be giving your clients their money’s worth. Here are some tips to help you set up your home office for video therapy, improving the picture, sound, and overall client experience!
While most laptops have a built-in webcam, they can be of varying quality. Until recently, built-in webcams were added to computers as an afterthought, offering lower video quality with an inability to adapt to different lighting conditions.
Fortunately, there are many external webcams that can offer you a fantastic quality image for a reasonable price. You likely don’t need to purchase a webcam that provides 4K video, but you want one that can at least handle 720p at 30 frames per second for live video calling, preferably 1080p.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative that can still offer you a great quality image, we would suggest looking no further than your smartphone or iPad. After all, our video therapy services are available on most modern devices! There are also many programs available that can turn your smartphone into a webcam that’s compatible with Windows and Mac systems.
The only aspect of a video conferencing call that’s more important than the video is the audio, especially for video therapy sessions. If a video is a little choppy and blurry, that can be a big distraction, but if your clients can’t hear a word you’re saying, then there’s no way they can receive their therapy at all.
Don’t rely on your devices’ internal microphones. Instead, invest in a decent quality external mic or headset. This will improve the overall quality of your sound and minimize background noise, thereby helping avoid miscommunications with your clients. A solid USB microphone can be a fantastic addition to any home office, providing you with high-quality audio at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a recommendation, Blue Yeti is a popular choice with many professionals.
Once you have the proper equipment, you need to make sure that you have the perfect home office setup.
First, consider what’s behind you for your video calls. After all, your clients will be looking at more than just you! You don’t want anything distracting behind you, like moving screens or super bright colours. Instead, try to pick a background or create an environment behind you that is both neutral and static.
You should also keep the webcam away from the office door. We’ve all seen videos of people being upstaged by their small children sneaking into their office behind them. Trying to create a distraction-free environment is a great idea for your office anyway, but it’s essential when you’re in the middle of a private therapy session.
You also need to make sure that your office has enough light for the conference call. While a solid webcam can moderately compensate for poor lighting, nothing beats having proper lighting. Don’t have any light sources directly behind you, as that backlights you and can make you appear shadowy. Natural light from a window is preferable so long as you’re being lit from the front or sides, but if there’s no window available, consider putting a lamp behind your monitor or webcam so the light will be hitting your frontside.
While Owl Practice handles most of the security when it comes to video therapy, there are some steps you need to take to secure your clients’ information.
Ensure that you’re always holding your video therapy sessions in a secure location, such as your office. Having a video therapy session in your living room could invite distractions and compromise your confidence with your clients. Likewise, you should never hold a video therapy session in a public place, as you never know who might be listening.
On our end, we have your data fully protected. All video traffic is run through our Canadian servers, which means that Canadian privacy laws protect the data, and there’s no danger of it being intercepted by people in other countries. We use bank-level encryption (SSL) to encrypt all data that moves between our servers and your device. Everything is PHIPA and College compliant. And with our secure login features, there’s no chance of any random strangers “accidentally” popping into the middle of a client session!
In other words, we offer the same high-level of security that we do with all of our practice management features.
Even beyond the pandemic, we believe video therapy will continue to be a vital part of any mental health professional’s practice. If you’d like to learn more about our Video Therapy features, or would like to explore everything else Owl Practice has to offer, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial. If you have any questions or comments about our services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.