At Two Chairs, we provide hybrid care to help meet our clients where they are and provide the care they need, when they need it. Whether you want to see your therapist in person, virtually, or do a little bit of both, we’ve designed every experience to make sure you feel safe and comfortable.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to engage in teletherapy, your first two appointments with Two Chairs — your matching appointment and the first session with your ongoing therapist — will always be virtual, which means it will be over video through tools like Google Meet and Zoom. In those tools, you and the therapist you’re meeting with will both click on your respective links and meet in the same virtual space to have your session.
Here are some tips and best practices that our team has put together to help you prepare for a successful teletherapy session.
There are a few main steps for joining your video appointments:
- Check your email where you will find the link to join a video call with the therapist.
- Check what platform your appointment is on (Google Meet or Zoom) and see if you need to download anything.
- Ensure you have sound and video on and a strong internet connection.
- Find a safe, private space for the session.
- When you’re ready, click the link to join the video call at the time of your appointment.
Set up your tech
Like we said, your matching appointment and first therapy appointment will always be over video. If you’re unfamiliar with telehealth appointments like this, there are a few things you need to know:
- When you book with us, we’ll send you confirmation and reminder emails and a calendar invite. You can find the link to join your appointment in all of these, and the link will tell you whether your appointment will be through Google Meet or Zoom. We recommend Google Calendar as the easiest way to join the appointment if you have access to it, but you don’t need it.
- Before your appointment, make sure you have a strong internet connection. If your internet upload speed is less than 5 mbps you may experience poor connection quality during your appointment. You can check the stability of your internet connection ahead of time by streaming a video or video calling with a friend. If your wifi seems slow, try to be as close to your wireless router or modem as possible to optimize internet speeds.
- Check your audio/video connection in the tool (Google Meet or Zoom) beforehand in case you have any technical issues (see instructions below).
- Make sure your video is on and your face is visible. Be mindful of where you sit in relation to a window or source of light. Try to ensure your face is clearly visible, with no glare. Your visible expressions are equally as important via video as they are in person!
- Once you are set up, click the link to join a few minutes before your appointment time.
Instructions for setting up Google Meet and Zoom
We recommend joining your teletherapy appointments from a computer for the best experience, but we know that isn’t always feasible. Here are some instructions for setting up these tools on both your computer and mobile device.
Getting set up for Google Meet
If you are using a computer to access your sessions:
- You do not need a Google Account or to download any special software to participate in Google Meet video meetings from your computer.
- Before joining your Google Meet appointment on a computer, you can preview how you look and sound on Google Meet and ensure you have allowed access to your computer's camera and microphone.
- At the time of your appointment, open the email from Two Chairs with your booking confirmation/reminder or the calendar invite and click on the meeting link for the Google Meet session.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to join the meeting.
- If you do not have a Google Account, you will need to click “Ask to join.” The therapist will admit you to the meeting.
If you are using a mobile device (iPhone/iPad or Android) to access your appointment:
- Note that if you are not signed into a Google or Gmail account, you cannot join a Google Meet appointment using your mobile device. If you do not have a Google or Gmail account, you can create a free account by following the steps here.
- Download Google Meet by tapping on the appropriate link below:
Download Google Meet for iPhone/iPad
Download Google Meet for Android
- At the time of your appointment, access the email from Two Chairs with your booking confirmation/reminder or the calendar invite and tap on the meeting link for your session. You will be directed to the Google Meet app that you have already downloaded.
If you run into technical issues during your appointment, visit the Google Meet support site for help.
Getting set up for Zoom
If you are using a computer to join your appointment:
- If you prefer to download the Zoom app: Before joining your Zoom appointment on a computer, you can download Zoom from the Zoom Download Center. (Otherwise, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click your meeting link.) You can also join a test meeting to familiarize yourself with using Zoom, watch a 3-minute video introduction to Zoom meetings, or read through some frequently asked questions about joining Zoom meetings.
- If you prefer not to download the app, you can join in your web browser. Follow the instructions here.
- At the time of your appointment, open the email from Two Chairs with your booking confirmation and click on the meeting link for the Zoom session.
Once you join your Zoom meeting, you will enter a virtual Waiting Room. Wait for the therapist to admit you into the session.
If you are using a mobile device (iPhone/iPad or Android) for your appointment:
- In advance of your session, access this blog post from your mobile device and tap on the appropriate link below:
Download Zoom for iPhone/iPad
Download Zoom for Android
- At the time of your appointment, open the email from Two Chairs with your booking confirmation/reminder or the calendar invite and tap on the meeting link for your session. You will be directed to the Zoom app that you have already downloaded.
If you run into technical issues during your appointment, visit the Zoom support site for help.
Plan ahead and create some space
To create some space for yourself, we recommend allowing 10-15 minutes before your appointment to set up your tech, find a quiet, safe space, and mentally prepare. Block your calendar for this extra time, especially if it’s during your work day, and turn off notifications on your device at the beginning of this time.
If possible, identify a quiet, enclosed space to protect your privacy while in the session, and let others know you shouldn't be disturbed during the session. For your safety and the safety of others, avoid doing therapy sessions while driving.
Particularly before your ongoing therapy sessions, use these valuable 10-15 minutes before to create a ritual for yourself. You can try any of the following, and be careful not to over-commit. Try incorporating just one at a time to experiment with what works for you:
- If you aren’t able to do your matching appointment or therapy session in a different place from where you work, use this time to put your work away or clear off your work surface.
- Go for a walk around your home or around the block before and after, as if you are commuting to your session.
- Take a moment to reflect on your week, and what you might want to share with your therapist. You can take it a step further and set an intention or agenda for your time together (example: I’d like to get some clarity on the resentment I’ve been feeling).
- Do a small journaling exercise or just jot down some of your feelings.
- Get up and stretch to connect with yourself and your body.
- Grab water or tea to drink during your session, and put it in your favorite cup or mug.
- Practice mindfulness or a breathing exercise. We have a mindfulness exercise here that you can try with a cup of tea or any beverage.
Depending on what you covered in your appointment, the thought of returning to work or the rest of your day in general may be overwhelming. If you are able, set aside 5-10 minutes after your session to reflect on your conversation and what that means for your next day, week, or month. Many of the activities we shared above to prepare for sessions can be great for decompression after sessions as well.