For most therapists, conducting online EMDR therapy is a new experience that may seem challenging or even intimidating. However, once you try it, you will likely discover that it is much simpler and more intuitive than you imagined. To make the transition to online EMDR even easier than it already is, we put together 8 helpful tips for conducting productive remote EMDR therapy sessions using remotEDMR:
- Do a pilot session – before you start practicing EMDR remotely with an actual client, it’s good to try out the platform with a colleague or a friend. This way, you will feel more comfortable and confident in your first actual session and better know what to expect.
- Prepare your hardware and software in advance – before you start the therapy session in remotEMDR, it’s important to make sure that both you and your client are using either Chrome Firefox or Safari browsers. If either of you is using an iPhone or an iPad, make sure to use Safari only. In addition, make sure that both you and your client have a functioning microphone and camera connected to your devices. Last, if you plan to use the auditory stimulus, make sure that your client uses wired earphones or earbuds.
- Make sure you have a stable internet connection – to conduct a productive video chat therapy session, both you and your client must have a stable internet connection. You can use this link to run a test and find out if your connection is indeed stable. If it isn’t, contact your internet service provider to resolve the issue before your online EMDR session.
- Send an invitation link ahead of time – it’s highly recommended that you send your client the session invitation link before the session and make sure they got it and can open it. This will both prevent delays and provide a more relaxed setting for both you and your client once the session begins. Remember that the link is reusable, so you can send it once to each client and ask them to save it and use it again to access all future sessions.
- Choose your “video during BLS” settings – remotEMDR’s default option is that your client doesn’t see your video while the BLS is active. Your image is hidden so that your client can focus on the moving elements. However, in some cases, you might find it best that your client keeps seeing you during the BLS for various therapeutic reasons. If this is the case, click the remotEMDR video chat settings button and change “video during the BLS” from “don’t show video” to “show thumbnail picture” or “Show full video.”
- Close all irrelevant apps and browsers – when it comes to psychotherapy, privacy and information security are critical. This is the main reason why you have to make sure that both you and your client close all irrelevant apps and web browsers on your devices. In addition, these apps and websites sometimes use some of your internet bandwidth, which may cause connectivity issues during the session.
- Set insurance issues – it’s important to make sure that you, as a therapist, are covered by relevant insurance. This issue becomes particularly relevant when it comes to online therapy since many therapists are treating patients in other states and even countries for the first time. Note that each country or state has its own psychotherapy therapy insurance policy, so make sure to find out what is relevant to you.
- Create your online therapeutic environment – as you know, it’s essential that your client feels as comfortable as possible during the therapeutic session. The way you and your environment are caught on camera can certainly influence the client’s emotional and mental state. As part of the preparation for the session, take a look at your frame and see what you can do to improve it: make sure the lighting is good (daylight is best if possible), remove any distracting objects from the background, and adjust the camera to capture your face, neck, and shoulders. You can do all this by clicking the video chat settings button before the beginning of the session.
We hope you found these tips useful. If you have tips of your own you would like to share, feel free to add them in the comments below.