At Couples In Step I am happy to use this medium with you after I have met you face-to-face either through a Hold Me Tight Retreat, a 3-Day Intensive or weekly/bi-weekly counselling in my North York, Toronto office.
Here is a sampling of situations where video counseling has been ideal! for a couple:
- A couple who had to be apart for much of the time because of career demands met with me weekly for video counselling after I met with them for a 3-Day Intensive.
- A couple who attended a Hold Me Tight Retreat lived far from an EFT therapist
- in the GTA area but long commutes….
- hard to get childcare
- only available time was early morning, late evening
Occasionally I have provided therapy via video counselling to a couple when I haven’t had any face-to-face contact, but this is rare.
Video counselling is not appropriate for discernment counselling
- You need an internet connection with fast bandwidth, including a good upload speed
- You need a lap top or a computer with a webcam
- To use this medium you need to have tolerance for the occasional technological blip. While the technology is much! more reliable than it was even a few short years ago, there is the occasional poor connection. Often hanging up and starting again makes for a better connection the second time.
Couples in Step uses the VSee platform for video counselling. I use VSee because the bandwidth requirements are not as high as with other video counselling platforms and also because VSee is HIPPA and PHIPA compliant (HIPPA and PHIPA has to do with confidentiality). I have a BAA (Business Associate Agreement) with VSee.
There is no cost to you to use VSee. I will send you an invitation to join VSee just prior to the first session.
Please do what you can to minimize interruptions such as phone calls, kids playing in the same room, etc. Though, if you have children, they are likely to be curious, and it is perfectly fine with me if you have them meet me and just chat a bit. I’ve observed that giving children permission to see who you are talking to helps them interrupt you less. If you wish to try meeting with me without getting a child care provider in to help, that is fine. After a session or 2, we’ll know better if a child care person is necessary for our sessions to be more productive.
Things You Should Know
- The first session may be a bit rocky as you get used to the medium. Occasionally video counselling is not a good medium and that will become clear after the first two or three sessions.
- You’ll need to sit shoulder-to-shoulder and close together in front of the screen. Please do not sit so that one of you sits forward in front of the other. This really throws the balance off
- If you have a lap top please have it on a counter in front of you, or on a pile of books so that the screen is level with your faces (ie., not on your lap). This is to help with eye contact between you and me
- You should be sitting in a well lit area
- I start video counselling sessions with a small grounding exercise. This is to replace the transitional car ride to my office
- Video counselling sessions are slow, slow, slow, slow. Experience has taught me that this is necessary for video sessions to be effective
- I may from time to time ask you to tell me very specifically what the mood is in the room you are in, or what you sense coming from your partner, or what the look on your partner’s face is, or what your partner’s body language is conveying, etc. This is because I am not in the room with you and sometimes I need that extra bit of input from you
- The goal of EFT is to help couples move into their soft, vulnerable emotions. That often means that our voices naturally become slower and softer. When I ask you to turn to each other and share with each other, your words may be harder for me to hear. Often that is OK, because I will be looking at your bodies for cues (voice quality, posture, your faces) to help me monitor your interaction. AND…l will ask you to tell me what happened and what was said (even more than I do in face-to-face sessions)
- One of the couples I worked with was having trouble with this medium. Then they began to regularly take ½ hour before and after the session with me to prepare and debrief. The video conferencing sessions became more productive. When this same couple also added in regular time between sessions to read Hold Me Tight together, the sessions became even more helpful to them. I met with them a long time this way; they read many sections of Hold Me Tight more than once!
I’ve learned the hard way that I need to ask for payment 24 hours ahead of the session. The best way to do this is for you to send me an e-transfer. I will not accept payment till the session is over, but I do need to have received a notice that an e-transfer has been made. If you’ve never made an e-transfer I’m happy to guide you. Just ask.