Audio Video

Make sure you have a private and comfortable place, where you can speak freely, without fear of being overheard or interrupted.

Web Cam

To use Skype with video, you need a webcam. Webcams range in price, and the price does not necessarily reflect the quality. One suggestion is to check a search engine for reviews, or look at listings on Amazon which posts feedback from a large pool of reviewers. Depending on your situation, you may or may not need to purchase a separate headset. If you cannot be overheard during sessions, you may find the quality of the audio through your webcam is adequate and no other equipment is necessary. If there are people who may be within earshot, you should get a USB headset.

Technical Considerations

A low quality internet connection can interfere with the quality of the audio/video reception. This may result in poor lip synchronization, sound delays, pixilated images and Skype may crash. Skype for chat and or audio alone may be satisfactory in less than optimal circumstances.

Difficulties when Skype is used for audio/video are easily fixed when problems are due to other issues, and the use of teleconferencing has proven a valuable addition to web tools. Those interested in teleconferencing are urged to give it a try, and most will be pleasantly surprised.

The Pros and the Cons:

  • There have been concerns that teleconferencing may be less effective than face-to-face because non-verbal cues out of view of the camera are missing. This has not been borne out by research.
  • Visual cues can be used to gauge the client’s expressions and emotions, and convey the therapist’s concern and empathy, thus enhancing the therapuetic alliance.
  • Some clients may respond negatively to the fact they are looking into a camera as opposed to directly at the therapist, though any discomfort usually disappears as they acclimate to the technology.
  • Therapy can be facilitated by teleconferencing when clients are more comfortable in their own surroundings.
  • People who have avoidant tendencies may be more comfortable with the distance afforded by a video connection.