What is Virtual Therapy?
Virtual therapy (or teletherapy) is mental health counselling provided online or over the phone. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the potential for exposure given increased cases of COVID-19, all in person counselling has been transitioned to virtual sessions for the time being. At Toronto Psychological Services & Research Centre, our clinical therapists have experience providing virtual therapy and can help smooth the transition from in person to virtual, to ensure continued access to mental health services and ongoing care throughout the pandemic.
What Platform Does TPS Use to Provide Virtual Therapy?
Toronto Psychological Services & Research Centre uses a secure, licensed Zoom account which is compliant with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) to ensure confidentiality for all our clients.
Best Practices for Virtual Therapy:
Step 1: Choose a device.
For a video appointment, you will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a webcam, microphone, and internet connection.
Step 2: Set up a Zoom account.
If you plan to attend regular therapy appointments, it may be beneficial to create a Zoom account to ensure quick and easy access for your sessions. To do so, go to zoom.com and click on “Sign Up, It’s Free”. Follow the prompts by inputting a valid email address and password of your
choice to successfully set up your account.
If you do not wish to create a Zoom account, do not worry! You can still use Zoom to attend virtual sessions. Simply go to zoom.com, click on “Join a Meeting”, and input the Meeting ID or Personal Link Name provided to you by your clinical therapist prior to session.
Step 3: Test your connection.
Prior to your scheduled appointment:
1. Test the microphone and webcam on your device of choice.
2. Ensure the volume on your device is turned up to an appropriate level. Headphones or earbuds can make it easier to hear and add an extra level of privacy.
3. If necessary, maximize your Wifi connection by limiting number of persons on the internet in your household at one time.
4. Ensure your device is plugged in, or charging.
Step 4: Prepare your meeting space.
Choose a quiet, private place where you can speak freely and listen carefully.
Many clients take calls from their bedroom, home offices, or elsewhere in their home or car if they have the privacy to do so. If lack of privacy is a concern for you, please inform your clinical therapist who can assist you in creating a plan to address your concerns and maximize your comfort level.
Step 5: Begin your session.
When you log-on to Zoom, you will be placed in a “waiting room”. Your clinical therapist will be notified and approve your request at which time your virtual therapy session will begin.