Jonathan Shedler, PhD

getting the most from your remote therapy sessions

1. The most important thing is to have privacy. It’s my responsibility to provide that in my office. When we meet remotely, it’s up to you. Please do everything possible to make sure you are in a private space where you will not be overheard or interrupted. You may need to ask others in your space to respect your privacy by doing things like turning on entertainment in another room.

2. Make yourself comfortable but not too comfortable. If you can, settle into a comfortable chair. A desk or workspace is best. Do not lay down or recline on furniture. To the extent possible, try to arrange yourself as you would if we were meeting in person.

3. Put a box of tissues nearby. If you want, pour yourself a glass of water, but avoid snacking or eating.

4. Please dress as you would if we were meeting in person. Even though I may not be able to see all of what you are wearing, you still know what you are wearing.

5. Silence devices other than the one you are using for our call. Quit programs that may be running in the background and turn off notifications if you can.

6. Leave yourself an additional 10-15 minutes before and after sessions. You need unscheduled alone time before your session to mentally prepare and clear your head, and time after to process and absorb. If possible, take a walk around the block before and after your session. If you can’t go outdoors, wander around your place or do some gentle stretching. It’s a poor idea to leave another activity and immediately start a session, or jump into an activity immediately after. The “buffer” time before and after is, in fact, an important part of the session.

7. Try to meet from the same location when possible. There is something about the consistency and predictability of the physical setting that is useful. Following these guidelines may make your remote sessions a little less convenient, but the benefit will be well worth the effort.

Following these guidelines may make your remote sessions a little less convenient, but the benefit will be well worth the effort.