For technical troubleshooting see section 14 and 15.
1. What is LiveTherapy?
LiveTherapy offers individual online therapy via a secure platform. You can choose from a directory of qualified therapists with different therapeutic approaches. You can also choose whether you receive your therapy via video, audio or instant text messaging.
After you request a session your therapist will be able to confirm and book you in. Once you've finished your session you will have a chance to review your therapy.
Big White Wall developed LiveTherapy in response to the demand of our online community. It was also a response to conversations with NHS commissioners. They expressed a need for innovative ways to reduce waiting times, extend access and offer more choice of psychological therapies.
LiveTherapy is CQC (Care Quality Commission) registered and is suitable for people aged 18+.
2. What does it cost?
If you are referred by the NHS you will be able to access your sessions free of charge. You will receive a prescription email which you can use to register, or add the sessions to an existing account. Please note our monthly paid option does not include access to LiveTherapy. The LiveTherapy service is also not available to be purchased privately.
3. How does LiveTherapy link with other aspects of Big White Wall?
As well as your therapy sessions, you will have six months of access to the other services provided by Big White Wall. Both our SupportNetwork and Guided support courses are available 24/7. These services aim to help you self-manage your mental well-being. They offer access to a community of people experiencing common mental health issues. According to our members one of the most important aspects of our other services is the anonymity. This allows members to express themselves freely.
WallGuides are online 24/7 to offer help or advice, and can be a valuable form of support between therapy sessions.
All activity on the SupportNetwork is separate from LiveTherapy. So you should not assume that your therapist is aware of any of your activity on the SupportNetwork. It is your responsibility to update your therapist on anything significant that has occurred between sessions.
4. Is therapy right for me and how do I choose my therapist?
Talking therapy can help anyone improve their understanding of themselves, and their quality of life. It can be particularly useful if you are struggling with emotional health problems or difficult life experiences. These may include issues with your relationships, home or work life.
Your therapist will be happy to discuss how suitable therapy is for you in your first session. Please note that if you are currently seeing a therapist elsewhere you should not book a LiveTherapy session.
You can read about the specific types of therapy we offer on our ‘Therapy Types’ page.
5. Will I be anonymous in LiveTherapy?
No, unlike the SupportNetwork you will not be anonymous while using LiveTherapy. But you do have the choice of how to interact with your therapist (audio/video/instant messaging).
You will be able to use instant text messaging if you do not enable your webcam or microphone. But you will still need to install the video plugin on the system check page to use instant messaging or audio.
Your therapist will always ask for your personal information in your first session. If a practitioner or organisation refers you, your referral will contain identifying details (name, address, date of birth and NHS number). The reason that we take this information for LiveTherapy is to prioritise your safety.
6. What happens if I am in crisis, or my therapist believes I pose a risk to myself or others?
If your therapist recognises that you or someone else may be at risk during a session, they will take steps to help you reduce the risk of harm. Because LiveTherapy is a remote service, this will usually involve:
• Asking if there is another adult at your location, who you can turn to for support.
• Encouraging you to contact the appropriate emergency services.
• In exceptional circumstances arranging for the emergency service to come and assist you.
In cases where we consider you or another person to have been at risk of harm, we will usually inform appropriate local services which can offer support. This may be your GP or the healthcare professional responsible for your care. In the event of non-acute risk arising in your therapy, your therapist will discuss their concerns with you. They may raise these concerns with the LiveTherapy clinical team who may contact your GP or referring service.
7. How can I contact my therapist?
The only way you can contact your therapist is via the ‘send a message’ or ‘request a session’ buttons on the ‘Our Therapists’ page. You will not receive any personal contact details of your therapist. You must also not attempt to contact your therapist outside of Big White Wall. Any attempted contact of this nature could result in the cancellation of your membership with Big White Wall.
In certain circumstances your therapist may use their Big White Wall email to send you material to support your therapy. But this will only occur when you consent to them using your personal email address.
8. What happens if I can’t attend a session?
Please let us know as soon as possible if you have booked a session which you can no longer attend. You can do this by sending a message to your therapist using the ‘send a message’ button on the ‘Our Therapists’ page.
If you cancel your session within 24 hours of the session start time, you will lose the session. We cannot reinstate sessions you have cancelled within 24 hours.
9. What are the minimum technical requirements for using Big White Wall LiveTherapy ?
In simple terms you will need:
• Laptop or computer with a webcam
• Internet connection (see section 14 for advice on internet issues)
• Modern operating system on your computer (Mac OS / Windows 7+). Please note, the latest Sierra update for Mac operating systems is not compatible with LiveTherapy.
• Modern browser (i.e. latest versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari). Please note that Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers are incompatible with LiveTherapy
• Up-to-date version of Adobe Flash
• Headset (Big White Wall LiveTherapy will work without a headset, but having one is highly recommended)
We have designed LiveTherapy to work across a range of browsers including Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 9 and up. Our personal recommendation would be the latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. Please do not use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
10. How do I book a Big White Wall LiveTherapy session?
To book a LiveTherapy session, you will need to log into Big White Wall and visit the LiveTherapy page.
1) Click on the ‘Our Therapists’ tab. You’ll then see a list of our Big White Wall therapists.
2) Click the ‘request session’ button, or 'more information' to see the therapist's general availability.
3) Complete the system check to make sure your laptop or PC can run a session. If you encounter any problems please look at section 14 below.
4) Pick three preferred ‘chosen time slots’ including a date and either 'morning, afternoon or evening'.
5) You’ll receive a confirmation that you've submitted your session request. Under ‘My LiveTherapy’ you’ll see your session request under ‘My bookings in progress’.
Step five confirms that you have made a request. Once the therapist responds with a date and time the status will change to ‘Awaiting confirmation of session’. When you see this, click the ‘confirm booking’ button. You will then be able to pick the most convenient time slot from the options your therapist has given you. To accept please click ‘accept proposal’.
Note: You need to do this within 48 hours of receiving the proposed date and time. If you don't you will lose the time slot and you will have to re-book.
You will then receive a booking confirmation email. You will also receive an invite email closer to the time of your booked session. This email will contain a link you can use to access your session. Otherwise you can log in and access your session through the LiveTherapy section of the website.
If you still have questions about booking a LiveTherapy session, please email email@example.com and we can help.
11. When do I need to book a LiveTherapy session?
We recommend that you make your first booking within two weeks of signing up. This is to make sure you have enough time to complete your therapy during your six-month Big White Wall subscription.
If you do not book a session within 90 days of registering for LiveTherapy, you will be discharged from this part of our service.
You must book all future sessions within 28 days of your last completed session. If you don't you will be discharged from LiveTherapy and unable to book any more sessions.
You may take a longer break between sessions if you and your therapist agree on it. But you must ensure you have a future session booked. You must also complete all sessions within 6 months of you first accessing Big White Wall.
12. How do I create the right environment and ensure my privacy?
It is important that you create the best possible environment for your LiveTherapy session.
• Ensure you are in a private space where you cannot be overheard.
• Ensure you will have no interruptions e.g. your phone is switched off and you are not expecting any visitors.
• Ensure there is enough lighting, and that you've plugged in your headset.
• Don’t forget to sign out of Big White Wall before leaving your computer.
• If you do not wish anyone to see your browsing history, you can set your browser safety settings to private browsing. Or you can delete your browsing history after the session.
For more information on how to ensure your privacy and safety on Big White Wall please follow the ‘Keep safe on Big White Wall’ link located in the bottom left corner of the website.
13. How can I review a LiveTherapy session?
Once you’ve finished a session, you’ll have the option to rate your experience. We collect this information anonymously and combine the ratings on the therapist’s profile. This helps us to track the quality of the service we are delivering.
After the session, your therapist will create a factual record of your session. You can view these notes three days after the end of your session by going to ‘My LiveTherapy' and looking at ‘My history’. You can then click the ‘details’ button next to the date of your session.
The purpose of this record is to act as an aide memoire of the key points of the session. You can add your own comments to this record using the ‘member notes’ section, but you cannot request a change to the therapist’s record. If you feel there are factual errors in the therapist’s record, you can make a note of this in your record.
14. Technical trouble-shooting
Please note: the latest Sierra update for Mac operating systems is not currently compatible with LiveTherapy. You will need to access an alternative laptop or PC, instead of Mac Sierra.
If you encounter any technical difficulties please go to the ‘Check your system’ page in LiveTherapy. This will check you are set up for LiveTherapy. You will see a ‘System check failed!’ alert in red near the top of your screen if the check fails. You should take note of any element which doesn’t have a tick next to it.
You can skip this stage of testing if the failure is for a device you don’t intend to use e.g. microphone. But the video plugin must always be installed to use LiveTherapy.
1) Install the Video plugin
LiveTherapy requires the download of a video plugin, even if you don’t intend to use a webcam or microphone. The ‘Check System’ page provides a download of the plugin, called AddLive.
1) Click the grey ‘Install plugin’ button and download the file. If a security warning appears,
click ok and install anyway; it is safe to do so.
2) Open the plugin from the ‘downloads’ menu in your internet browser and install it, if it is not automatically installed.
3) Select ‘allow and remember’ for the plugin when prompted. This will enable the plugin every time you use our service.
Check which program you are using to access the internet. Mozilla Firefox is the most effective browser for LiveTherapy. We do not recommend the use of Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge (Windows 10’s default browser). These browsers block the plugin download completely.
In the rare case the antivirus software on your computer, such as McAfee, AVG or Norton antivirus, blocks the plugin software, temporarily disabling it to download the plugin can work. Please ensure you restore your antivirus software after downloading the Addlive Plugin, in order for your computer to remain protected.
2) Use the right device
Please use a PC or laptop to access LiveTherapy – phones and tablets do not support the platform.
3) Use the right OS and browser
Please use a Windows or Mac operating system. Please note that Windows XP and all previous versions of Windows are no longer supported or updated by Microsoft. As a result they may not be able to access the LiveTherapy platform. Windows 7, 8 and 10 should be able to support LiveTherapy.
The latest Sierra update for Mac operating systems does not currently support the AddLive plugin. Please use an alternative PC or laptop, instead of Mac Sierra.
The most effective browser to access LiveTherapy is Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer and Safari will also work. Do not use Google Chrome, or the Microsoft Edge browser (Windows 10’s default browser).
4) Make sure you’re using a good internet connection
If your internet connection is poor, it can sometimes cause the ‘latency’ field on your system check to fail. Try testing your internet speed at www.speedtest.net. A download speed below 6megabytes per second (6 mbps) may cause problems with LiveTherapy video streaming. Upload speeds under 1mbps will find it difficult to support the service.
There are many ways to improve your internet speed and connection:
• You can try sitting closer to the wireless modem. If possible, we recommend using a wired connection.
• Anyone connected to your router may slow the connection speed with the use of electrical devices such as phones or games consoles. The use of video streaming services like Skype can also reduce internet speed.
• Reboot your computer or switch your internet modem on and off again. Both of these factors can sometimes improve the connection.
• Contact your internet provider to see if you can have your router signal strengthened.
5) Make sure your audio/video devices are all set up to go
We recommend a headset for clear audio communication with your therapist. But you can test your microphone, speakers and webcam through your computer settings. (Control panel on Windows, system preferences on a Mac).
There are also settings inside the session. Below your webcam interface, there is a 'settings’ button. You can use the drop-down menus to change your devices.
15. Common issues with LiveTherapy
I get a grey box rather than a view of my webcam feed, what should I do?
Under the grey box, you will see camera and speaker buttons, located next to the ‘settings’ button. When you click these buttons they will turn from red to green. Your webcam feed should then appear.
If this does not work, or you cannot see your therapist's webcam, there is likely an issue with the video plugin. Please refer to the top of section 14 – technical troubleshooting. It may also be due to the type of browser you are using – please do not use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
My therapist can't hear me or I can’t hear my therapist, what should I do?
This could be down to your microphone or your internet connection. Below your webcam feed, click the ‘settings’ button. Use the drop-down menus to change your audio devices, and you may improve your audio.
Please refer to the advice for a better internet connection in section 14 above.
If you are not using headphones your speakers may create an echo. Ambient noise will also make you harder to hear, so we recommend connecting a headset. Turn off other chat services, as they may interfere with your camera and microphone. Turn off any phone or tablet devices as they can cause interference.
The image is dark and/or pixelated. Can I improve the image?
This is usually caused by a lack of light, but you can also improve poor video quality by strengthening your internet connection.
Can I report an error?
You should report any errors to your therapist first. You can send your therapist a message by returning to the LiveTherapy homepage. You can then click on ‘our therapists’ and choose the ‘send a message’ option.
I get a latency fail on the system check, what should I do?
Latency is related to your internet connection, please see the point on improving your internet connection in section 14.
The latest Sierra update for Mac operating systems is not currently compatible with LiveTherapy. Please access an alternative laptop or PC.