There are many different video conferencing tools available. is a free, user-friendly tool - both for counsellors and clients. You can also use it to safely conduct sessions with clients by following this manual.

Counsellor starts the session

  1. Preferably use your laptop rather than your smartphone to easily make video calls.
  2. Use Google Chrome as a browser (not 'Internet Explorer' or 'Edge').
  3. Go to

    • Select your preferred language at the top left corner
    • Enter three words:
      • name of the Praatbox
      • location
      • choose any random word from the list

    Attention: do not use any confidential words for the first two options,

    such as the client’s name or the subject of the session.

    • Click 'Start the Praatbox'.
  4. Once the chatroom has been set up, you may (possibly) be required to confirm the following: allow access to microphone and camera.
  5. Once you see yourself on screen and your microphone is working, you will have to do the following:

    • Click at the bottom right corner and then click 'add password',
    • enter a password of your choice and press enter.
    • Important: do not choose a password that you already use yourself.
    • Remember: you will be sharing this password with your client.

    • Click on the three dots at the bottom right,
    • then click on
    • ‘blur my background’.
    • your background will be blurred.
    • Be sure to do this when working from home.


Establish a connection with the client

  1. You have two options...


    • establish a non-secure connection with your client as you do not intend to exchange privacy-sensitive information or do not want to talk to someone as a counsellor. In that case, copy the link and/or use the send options at the top right corner (WhatsApp and e-mail) to send the link.


    • establish a secure connection for a confidential session with your client in which case you should NOT use the send options at the top right corner, but proceed as follows:
  2. Call or text your client

    • Provide him or her with the three words:
      • the name of the chatroom
      • the location
      • the random word

    Attention: do not send these words to the client by e-mail!

    • Ask your client to launch
      • If your client uses a smartphone – he or she will need to download the Jitsi app.
      • If your client uses a laptop - then he or she can proceed immediately.
    • Assist the client with the filling in of these three words
  3. Once you’ve done this, the system will request the password. You should only provide the password at this stage (so as not to make things too complicated).

Session can start

  1. If everything works as it should, you should now see each other. Check the frequently asked questions if this is not the case.
  2. Attention: if you want a third person to join the session, then the security level will not be as high as described above.
  3. At the start of the session:

    • Inform your client that the session may not be recorded or streamed and is between the counsellor and the client only.
    • The counsellor must also promise that the session will not be recorded (The counsellor will take notes on paper or their laptop, just like during an ordinary session).
  4. Points of attention during the session: the counsellor can see:

    • whether the session is being recorded (an orange circle with the word REC in white appears at the top right).
    • or live streamed (blue circle with the word LIVE in white appears at the top right)
    • or if someone wants to join the session (additional screen pops up).
  5. In the event that this occurs, inform your client that the conditions for a confidential session were not fulfilled and stop the session immediately.

    If a third person joins the session, you can remove them from the session.

    You can do this by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of the unwanted person’s screen and then clicking "Kick out"

  6. At the end of the conversation, press the red phone button in the centre of your screen. We recommend that you do not reuse the three words that you chose to set up the chatroom or the password.
  7. For your information:

    Sessions are only end-to-end and peer-to-peer secured when there are only two participants. In that case, the content is not routed through the server but flows directly between the two conversation partners. The server is only used to set up the secure connection.

    When three or more people participate in the session, the data are routed through the main server and the session is no longer end-to-end and peer-to-peer secured.

  8. Here you will find general information about and frequently asked questions.

    Do read the FAQs. They explain how to solve a few simple technical issues if you experience difficulties when trying to contact the client.

  9. Tip: test it yourself first with a colleague!
This manual was developed on the initiative of Bavo Van den Heuvel with input, feedback and testing by SAM - Steunpunt Mens en Samenleving (Sandra Beelen), OHUP and Netwerk Onlinehulp Vlaanderen (Philippe Bocklandt) and many other social workers.