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February 25, 2022

Telehealth Best Practices for Therapists Getting Started

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Getting prepared for a therapy session used to mean making sure your client knew where to park or which elevator to take to get to your office. Now, more often than not, it entails double-checking your internet is functioning and that your Bluetooth headphones are properly connected to your device. 

We know that there are varying comfort levels when it comes to running a telehealth practice. Below, discover the key factors that contribute to a seamless experience for both you and your clients.  


Prepare your technology and environment. 

Put privacy first. Although you may be practicing from home, maintain professionalism and engagement by creating a private, comfortable and safe environment for your clients.

Optimize your internet speed. Situate yourself close to your router or obtain a WiFi extender if the connection is spotty. Use speedtest.net to check your internet speed. If it is running slower than usual, close any other open applications on your device.

Test your camera and microphone. Ensure you and your client are familiar with the technology platform being used so that the tech aspect doesn’t hinder their treatment. Take advantage of additional training to improve your knowledge and skills with video applications.

Prepare your client. 

Create a backup plan. In the event of technical issues, what will you do? Be sure to have this written down to communicate with each new client. 

Prepare your intake conversation. Describe the video telehealth process with any new clients, ensure confidentiality, and obtain informed consent before your first session together. Address any important policies such as cancellations. Even though you are meeting virtually, cancellation and confidentiality policies still apply. 

Verify privacy. Review confidentiality and the limits of confidentiality with your client. Ensure you know your client’s location and verify that they have privacy. Read our article about practicing across state lines during the pandemic here

Establish an emergency plan in the event of a crisis. Ensure your client has an emergency contact on file. If your client is high-risk, be sure to establish a safety plan with them so that they know what local resources are available to them. 

How SonderMind can help. 

HIPAA-compliant technology. SonderMind Video Telehealth™ is a HIPAA-compliant way for you to conduct a video session with a client. All documentation, scheduling details, and claim submissions are stored in one place to make accessing records simple and efficient. 

IT support. If tech issues arise before or during your session, you can instruct your client to contact SonderMind at (844) THERAPY. 

Training and webinars. We offer video telehealth training as part of our onboarding process. If you’re a SonderMind provider, take advantage of additional training to improve your knowledge and skills with our exclusive continuing education and workshop opportunities.

Step-by-step guides. We also offer these additional resources for SonderMind providers, ensuring a smooth experience for all therapists, no matter their previous experience with running a telehealth or virtual practice. 

To discover how SonderMind makes it easy to reach clients online, browse these frequently asked questions.

Get access to more resources

Join SonderMind, and our evidence-based approach to care will give you the additional tools you need to provide the best possible support to even more people in need. See all continuing education and training opportunities available to SonderMind providers here

Join a community of mental health providers who are redesigning the future of mental healthcare.

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**Disclaimer: This document is intended for educational purposes only. Please check with your legal counsel or state licensing board for specific requirements.

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