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Top Tips for using Zoom for counselling

If you were meeting me in person, you’d probably walk or drive to the clinic I work from to meet.  This would create some space to prepare for our meeting and afterwards time to reflect and gather yourself.  Meeting online means it is very easy to log on immediately after another meeting and have other tabs up with your emails or work you have been engaged in.    To make the most of your counselling online below you’ll find some top tips.  Aim to have 15 minutes to prepare for your counselling appointment. 

  1. Pop to the loo.

  2. Get yourself a drink – glass of water or a warm drink (avoid alcohol and energy drinks)

  3. Have some tissues to hand, just in case you feel emotional.

  4. If you’re feeling anxious having a fluffy blanket or pillow to stroke can help you to self soothe.

  5. Close your tabs on your laptop, so you aren’t distracted with email notifications, work related issues or websites you are looking at.

  6. Turn off your phone or put it on silent, so you aren’t interrupted.

  7. Make sure you’re in a private, quiet space that you won’t be interrupted by other people.  It’s best not to sit in a room where other people have to pass through to get somewhere.

  8. If other people are in the house – remind them you have a meeting.  You might even want to put a note on your door, in case people forget.

  9. Check your camera – make sure you’re happy and comfortable with what I’m seeing behind you.   

  10. It can be helpful to have a headset, this can improve call quality and give some added privacy.

Afterwards you may want to block out 10 minutes to reflect, gather yourself together, distract yourself, listen to some music, write in your journal or sit and have a warm drink.  Take time if possible, so you don’t feel rushed and have time to look after yourself.


It’s also important to be aware of the online disinhibition effect which can mean we either share more detail, more quickly and are unfiltered in our responses or in contrast we feel very protective and hesitant about what we share online.  Though in our first meetings I ask questions to get to know you and understand the issues you want to talk about in therapy, there is no pressure or obligation to share before you feel ready.

If you have any questions about working online, please do be intouch, we'll be happy to help.

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