Guide to Getting Started with Online Video Therapy

online video-based counseling and coaching.

Online Video Counseling: Safe, Effective, and Easy to Use?

Yes, Yes, and Yes!

Why Is Online Video Counseling Becoming So Popular?

Quick answer: Online Counseling is safer, more accessible, and more affordable than ever.

Your Guide to Online Video Therapy, Online Video Life Coaching, and Online Video Marriage Counseling

If you would like to take advantage of the convenience of meeting with your counselor or coach through video conferencing online, you can do so through a variety of mediums. However, applications like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts are easy to use and the most favored forms of video chat. All work well and are easy to set up. Skype and Google are free, and FaceTime is a standard-issue app on most Apple devices.

There can be a lot of anxiety when it comes to making sure video chats work, I am going to outline how to set up and start your first ever Online Video Therapy session in under an hour.

To Get Started with Online Video Therapy, You’ll Need:


You will need a built-in or external webcam with a microphone. Most later-generation computers and smartphones already have a video camera and microphone built right into them. In this case, Skype will work with them automatically and you don’t have to do anything to set up the video capability of your computer.

If you don’t have a webcam built into your computer, there are many different options online you could purchase. A simple webcam is very inexpensive and plugs into your computer via the USB cable. As soon as you plug it in, your computer will recognize the camera. You will be walked through the software instructions by the disk that comes with the camera.


The other thing you will need is the fastest internet connection possible. FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts generally work well over Wi-Fi. If you are using a mobile hotspot to connect to the internet, be sure that you are on a 4G network if possible. If the internet service at your home or office is on the slow side, you might get better results if you bypass Wi-Fi and connect your computer to the internet using an Ethernet cable.

Getting Started with Online Video Therapy Through FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Skype

Online Video Therapy Using FaceTime

You can use FaceTime on your Mac computer or on your later generation iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. (The hand-held iDevices DO need to have a built-in camera). You will need an Apple account, which you likely have already if you’re a Mac customer, as well as the FaceTime app, which costs 99 cents if you need to buy it. On later-generation Apple devices, FaceTime is a standard-issue app.

If you haven’t used FaceTime before, it’s as easy as making a phone call. Prior to your first appointment, your therapist will get your contact information, and then initiate the session. You’ll answer the call (on your iPhone, iPad, or laptop — your choice) and you’ll be connected face to face. From then on it will be just like any other coaching or therapy appointment.

Online Video Therapy Using Google Hangouts 

In order to use Google Hangouts, you need a Google account. (Which you already have if you have a Gmail account). If you don’t already have a Google account, you can easily create one for free.

Once you have an account, your therapist or coach will call you through Google Hangouts. If you’re on your Google hangout page, you’ll get a call. Answer the call and you’ll be connected. If you aren’t currently on the page, you’ll get an email invitation that will allow you to join the call.

If you prefer to use your smartphone or tablet (Android or OS) you’ll download the Google Hangout App and enter your account information. Then you can answer calls from on your device.

Online Video Therapy Through Skype

To get started with Skype on your laptop you’ll go to and download the Skype application (for free) onto your computer, and the program will walk you through the process of setting up a user name and checking to see if your audio, video and internet connections are set up properly.

If you prefer to use Skype on your Android or IOS device, simply download the Skype app and connect it to your account. Once you provide your therapist with your username, he/she will send you a contact request. Accept the request, and then we’ll be able to call you for your sessions. Simply answer the call, and you’ll be connected face-to-face.

Final Word

Many people feel intimidated at the thought of using video conferencing if they haven’t done it before. Nowadays, it really is just as easy as making a phone call. Do it one time, and you’ll be a pro. But if you’d like a little extra support to get things set up properly, do not hesitate to contact your therapist. He or she can talk you through the process, step-by-step.

If you’re ready to get started, the first step is to get to know some the best online therapy sites available. 

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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