Video Presentation Skills in Telemental Health, Both Basic and Intermediate

Course Materials

Chapter 1: Basic Presenting Skills for Telemental Health by Video
Backlighting: Mostly Bad, Possibly Good
Making Eye Contact Over Video in Telemental Health Services
Chapter 2: Intermediate-Advanced Presenting Skills
Videoconferencing on Mobile Devices
When Online Therapy Video Sessions Go Glitchy: Some Tips


  1. Download the Video Presenting Skills checklist. The checklist will help learners follow along with the skills we teach in the course.
  2. Basic Presenting Skills. Learners will cover:
    • Essential lighting basics to ensure a clear view of expression and affect for both therapists and clients.
    • Camera placement that facilitates clear view of expression and affect, as well as enhancing appearance of interpersonal engagement.
    • How video resolution impacts clinical effectiveness and the ways that resolution can be improved or worsened.
    • What echo sounds like during a session and how to stop it.
    • How therapists and clients should choose and use speakers and microphones based on the environment(s) where they engage in telemental health sessions.
    • The impact of monitor size on therapy, with guidance on choosing appropriate monitors — e.g. is the laptop monitor sufficient? Should I get a desktop monitor? How big?
    • How therapists’ and clients’ clothing choices can impact therapy when using the particular kind of video streaming technology that we employ in telemental health.
    • How, much like clothing choices, simple choices regarding items in the office environment can impact the therapy session over vide software.
    • How to use picture-in-picture for great benefit — without slipping into a common mistake that can significantly impede therapy.
    • The ways that typing in session can be beneficial or detrimental.
  3. Intermediate-Advanced skills. After the basic skills, take a break and then dive back in to learn:
    • The science of eye contact over videoconferencing software, and how to position yourself and your tech to enhance your appearance of empathic connection over video. We’ll also cover a special technique for improving eye contact that we call the “distant gaze” technique.
    • How backlighting is not always a bad thing (but usually is.) We’ll cover how to use it purposefully, should you choose to do so.
    • Why video sessions on smartphones are not quite as bad as some might think, but still miss some important marks. We’ll use video demonstration and some reading to give guidance on when it is and isn’t appropriate to use smartphones for video-based telemental health sessions.
    • Simple technical tips for therapists and clients to prepare for a clear and glitch-free video session. Includes a video demonstrating Roy’s pre-session routine for preparing for a good online session.
  4. Full review. We review everything from the course in a little 3-minute video.

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