Please note some of these tips apply to Therapists using Zoom for their practice, but the majority of this advice applies to any small business or sole trader:
Why Use Zoom?
Zoom is relatively easy (compared to others), Secure and private. As a method of delivering online therapy, it is a robust and great solution.
Zoom offers a video communications system for free unlimited 1-to-1 meetings.
It is available to use on a wide range of internet communication and hardware systems.
Support is offered via; video tutorials, IM chat and a demo (if requested).
The system has file-sharing, screen share and annotation capabilities.
After the initial set-up and entering the meeting room, the system is very straightforward to follow.
The quality of sound and video is usually excellent.
Disadvantages of Zoom
There is so much information regarding multiple occupancy meeting set-ups it feels a bit overwhelming initially. However, after entering the meeting space things are much more straightforward.
If you are hoping to use this for group meetings (or supervision) the Free version only offers 40 minutes of time in one go – although you can restart another session immediately after.
Using zoom in a therapy setting
Zoom is OK to use as a tool within your therapy practice. The data transmitted during meetings, webinars, and chat sessions are encrypted and secure.
Please also make sure that your own computer is protected from viruses and hackers by using a good protection service. I personally use Kaspersky (paid version), or Avast (free but loaded with yukky ads and sneaky ways to make you pay). Please note these are NOT ‘affiliate links.
Zoom is compliant with the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement.
They also have a GDPR compliance statement on their website – Zoom GDPR Statement.
If you record sessions on Zoom then the client needs to be aware of this and consent to the recording; your contract would be the best place to cover this along with privacy information. Why you need to record sessions, where you store them and how long you hold the recording for would need to be covered as well. You want explicit, clear consent from your client.
Zoom Official Statement: EU GDPR Compliance:
How to check your microphone and camera for using Zoom?
Microphones, such as the built-in microphone, a USB microphone or an inline microphone on headphones
Speaker or headphones
Zoom have provided step-by-step instructions here:
I have been told to add an extension to chrome or firefox browser, should I do this?
In this instance, Yes. They are small pieces of software that help Zoom and the internet communicate better and thus make things smoother and faster than they otherwise would.
What is the waiting room?
The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting. As the meeting host, you can admit attendees one by one or hold all attendees in the waiting room and admit them all at once. You can send all participants to the waiting room when joining your meeting or only guests, participants who are not on your Zoom account or are not signed in.
Participants will see a screen when joining a meeting with Waiting Room enabled. You can see it and read more about it here:
Password protecting meetings
Passwords can be set by the meeting host when setting up/scheduling a meeting for an added layer of security.
Setting up meetings for your clients
Have a different meeting link for each client.
You would otherwise allow multiple clients to be able to access the room at any time you are in a meeting.
Do you have any questions about using Zoom? Comment below and let me know.