Video Sessions – Frequently Asked Questions

How do video sessions work?

Video sessions are similar to video calls you may have had with friends or family over zoom, whats app, skype or facetime. It means that you and your therapist will be able to see and hear each other for the session over a video platform.  Having therapy over video call is just like coming in to have your therapy session in “real time”.

You and your therapist will log-in to a secure web-based programme at the same time and be able to interact ‘live’ for the duration of your session.  Sessions follow the same format as when you meet face to face.

Why are iCope offering video sessions?

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are only able to offer a limited number of face to face appointments. We are aware that the risk of infection in healthcare settings can be higher, and we want to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Therefore, in order to continue to provide high quality care we have introduced video sessions, as this is the closest thing to ‘face to face’ that is currently available.

There is research to show that healthcare appointments and psychological therapy can effectively be delivered via video, and many therapists have been offering this for a number of years already. There are also a number of additional benefits to video sessions which we’ve highlighted below.

What are the benefits of video sessions?
  • It’s free
  • It’s easy to use and set up
  • It’s convenient
  • Many of us are already familiar with having video calls and like it (e.g. via Zoom, Whatsapp or FaceTime)
  • You can see your therapist and they can see you, unlike over the phone
  • It saves time. You no longer have to travel to and from where your therapy is based
  • You can have therapy from the comfort of your own home
  • It can be less daunting than arriving at a clinic and sitting in a waiting room. You may find it easier to talk about your difficulties when in a setting that you are more familiar with
  • Ability to share screens. Video sessions have a ‘share screen’ function which means that either you or the therapist can show each other what is on your screen. This is particularly helpful when talking about any homework tasks which have been completed in-between sessions, or when the therapist is introducing a new idea
Do I have to have video sessions if I don’t want to?

No. You can discuss alternative methods with your therapist, such as telephone or online sessions. However we would encourage you to give video sessions a try. It is nice to be able to see your therapist and we find it helpful to see your face too! We can also share helpful videos, pictures and other therapy resources with you over video.

What video software does iCope use?

We are currently trialling a number of secure NHS-approved platforms to find the best one. Your therapist will discuss which video call software you will be using and send you instructions for how to access it.

What equipment do I need to have a video session?
  • A good internet connection. Please note that if you are using video call software on a 3G/4G connection (e.g. via your mobile phone) this is likely to lead to a less smooth connection, and may use up some of your data allowance and potentially increase your bill. We would advise you to check your allowances and data limits prior to starting video session
  • A device which is able to run the video software (e.g. laptop, phone, tablet)
  • A device which has a web-camera, speakers, and microphone (these are usually built into phones and tablets)
  • Some video call software that we use needs a specific web browser e.g. Google Chrome or Apple Safari.  Your therapist will inform you if this is the case
  • A private, quiet and well-lit area where you will not be disturbed
How I do I prepare for a video session?

Remember that you do not have your regular journey to and from one of the iCope sites, so it is important to prepare yourself before and make time to
digest the session afterwards.

Please see this helpful guide which offers some tips on how to prepare for a video session. Below is a summary from the guide:

  • Think about where is comfortable and appropriate to sit
  • Try to negotiate a time with people you live with where you will not be interrupted
  • Make sure you position your device somewhere secure and comfortable for you
  • Turn off or silence your mobile phone. Using the ‘do not disturb’ function can be useful here
  • Take steps to rearrange or remove anything that might distract you during the session, including other programmes, apps or pop-ups on your device
  • Adjust the lighting to help your therapist be able to see you
  • Wear some sort of headphones to reduce echo and help you concentrate on what is being said
  • Be mindful of what you show your therapist in your background. It can be helpful to have a plain background with few distractions.
  • Dress appropriately. We know you may be at home, but it is still an NHS appointment