Usually if you opt for virtual therapy appointments, you can maintain your own privacy during these appointments by choosing a time no one is home. Right now that is particularly difficult with families and rommmates self-isolating together and many people working from home. These are strategies you can use in the future for virtual therapy that are particularly relevant now!
1. Use headphones! Try always using headphones during virtual therapy; that way whatever your therapist says is only to you and they can’t breach confidentiality accidentally with someone overhearing. Get your family member(s) or roommate(s) to also try using headphones (particularly noise cancelling ones) during your session.
2. Use a chat or text feature! Most video conferencing software has a chat feature, if there is something you want to tell your therapist but don’t feel comfortable saying out loud for fear of being overheard, ask your therapist if they would feel comfortable with you typing it.
3. Pick the most remote/private room in your home and set yourself up comfortably for a session. Use a room with lots of furniture and textiles to help dampen sound! Try rolling up a towel to place along the edge of your door to decrease sound transfer.
4. Use a sound machine!!! If you have a sound machine, put it outside of the room you’re in for your session and turn it to white noise or rain sounds. This helps prevent people outside your room hearing what you’re saying. If you don’t have a sound machine, use a phone or computer and use an app or youtube to play white noise. Or use a radio set between stations!
5. Sit in a car! If there isn’t a space or a time in your home that you feel comfortable to have a virtual or phone session, try sitting in a car to have your session. If you don’t own a car, ask a friend or family member if you can use their car for an hour. If you aren’t comfortable letting them know it’s for therapy (and if you can’t drive), just say you need an isolated space to do some work for a short time.
6. Try going for a walk: If there isn’t space in your home or a car for you to use but you would really benefit from a session with your therapist, you can, if it is permitted, try walking around your neighbourhood while having a session (or finding a bench to sit on).
7. Consider a shorter session: If you are not able to find private time or space for a full session, consider asking your therapist for a shorter session, which they may be able to accomodate.