Tutorials How To Use bilateralstimulation.io
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you facing technical issues?
Here are the most common
solutions you can try:
- Reload the page
- Try with a different browser (I recommend Google Chrome)
- In case of tactile BLS issues please check our tactile FAQ.
- Still facing issues? Do not hesitate to contact me and we can figure it out together: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have problems with my tactile buzzers
Please check our tactile FAQ.
How does this tool work?
Should I use this tool by sharing my screen with the client?
No. I advise to never use the tool with screen sharing but to always have the client join the session via the session link, as described above. Why? When sharing the screen, the BLS will appear jerky rather than smooth to the client. Also, in the case of bad connectivity screensharing quickly stop working while linksharing will work even with poor connectivity. Also, the audio will never work properly when sharing the screen.
How does the audio BLS work?
As a therapist, you can enable auditory BLS by enabling the "Auditory" toggle in your therapist controls.
When you start the visual bilateral the audio will play in-sync. Every time the visual bilateral hits the left border of the screen, the sound will play on the left ear. Every time the visual bilateral hits the right border of the screen, the sound will play on the right ear.
Make sure your client wears headphones (preferably wired ones) and is in a calm place. Make sure your client has not muted the volume on their device. Once you initiate audio your client will see a text message on their screen asking them to confirm that they want to allow enabling audio. They need to click on this text message for audio to play on their side.
How does the tactile BLS work?
What does the client see?
The way the BLS session link works is that once you create a session you will always see the therapist view (until you terminate the session by closing the window/tab).
Other people who click the link, however, will see the client view (just the BLS, without the "therapist control panel").
If you want to see the session window as it is seen by the client, you can simulate being a client by opening the session link on a different device or in a different browser. You can then control it on one device/browser and watch it change on the other device/browser.
Can this tool be used on a phone/iPad/tablet?
This tool works on both desktops/laptops/macbooks/computers as well as mobile devices (such as an iPad or iPhone). Some therapists actually prefer to control it from their mobile device to mimic a remote control.
For clients who use a mobile device it is recommended that they hold their device sideways (landscape mode) and that they hold it close to their face to ensure a proper bilateral stimulation across their range of vision.
Visual and auditory BLS work on all devices but please note that our remote tactile buzzers do not work with phones/tablets—see our tactile FAQ.
How close to the display should the client sit?
For optimal outcomes it is recommended that the bilateral covers a large part of the client's horizontal range of vision. This means that the client's face should be significantly closer to the display than usual. In practice, this usually equates to two or three palms wide for normal laptop displays, two to four palms wide for desktop displays and two to three fingers wide for smartphone displays. However, your therapeutic preferences might vary. Vertically, the client's eyes should be aligned with the camera so that the therapist can still monitor their gaze.
Answers to specific technical issues:
The auditory BLS does not work/the audio is not bilateral.
General recommendations to make the auditory BLS more reliable:
- Have your clients use wired (rather than wireless) headphones
- Have your clients use Google Chrome over other browsers.
- Have your clients use a laptop/computer rather than a phone/tablet
The most common causes of audio problems are:
1. Bluetooth Audio Problems
Audio problems often happen with wireless (Bluetooth) headphones that act as both input (microphone) and output (speaker).
When acting as both input and output the Bluetooth connection does not have enough bandwidth left for the output to be stereo, and it drops down to mono.
This means that the auditory BLS becomes unilateral (or even stops working sometimes).
Unfortunately, this is a fundamental technical limitation of Bluetooth and there is no way for me to solve this. Even bilateral youtube videos (like this one) stop working in this case, so even Youtube could not solve this.
HOWEVER, there are two possible workarounds:
- Use wired headphones instead of wireless ones (if available)
If no wired headphones are available you can have your client use their wireless headphones as the output (speaker), BUT have them use a different input (microphone), e.g. the built-in microphone of their laptop.
I have put together a 2-minute video where I describe how to do that in Zoom:
2. Tab with audio is in background
On some devices (particularly Apple) the tab with bilateralstimulation.io needs to be visible and in the foreground (active) for the audio to work reliably and bilaterally.
3. System Settings = "Mono Audio"
4. Audio coming from speakers
Another possible cause: Are you as the therapist using headphones or speakers? Often, therapists who use speakers experience issues because the client ends up hearing the audio BLS through the therapist's speakers and microphone, thus making it unilateral instead of bilateral. So, if you're using speakers try either using headphones or click the "Mute for therapist" button on your control panel.
5. Other audio problems
If that still does not solve the issue please contact me and we can figure it out together: email@example.com
The client's video disappears when they click the BLS link
This can happen when the client is using an iOS device (iPhone/iPad).
The technical reason is that iOS blocks the camera as soon as you switch away from the video application to the BLS tool.
There are two possible solutions to this:
- Ask the client to use a laptop/computer
- Use Zoom for that particular client, and have them install the iOS Zoom App. Zoom is the only video platform that solved this challenge. When you switch away from Zoom, the video stays visible.
The tool does not work at all for me (the on/off switch does not do anything)
Please contact me and we can figure it out together: firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I use this tool with a video calling software like Doxy.me or Zoom?
What people usually do is to have Doxy.me/Zoom on one part of the screen and bilateralstimulation.io on another part of the screen (side by side or on top of each other). See here for instructions on how to adjust your window size. An alternative is to switch between the windows/tabs. Clients should make sure to have the full width of their screen available for the bilateral stimulation.
Please note that doxy.me/Zoom are independent organizations - there is no affiliation between them and bilateralstimulation.io
How can I adjust the size of the window?
Here are some instructions on how to adjust your window size. Please note that your window size and the client's window size are completely independent of each other - you both can adjust it on your respective end to fit your screen and needs.
How does the "Copy link" button work?
When you click the "Copy link" button, your session link should get copied into your device's clipboard. This means that you can go to another application on your device (e.g. doxy/zoom or your email program) and paste it. (Here is a more detailed explanation of copy & paste on PC/Mac/iPhone/etc.).
Copying the link and then pasting it is meant to help you with sharing the link with your client (e.g. via Doxy or email). When your client clicks on the link, they will see the bilateral as you see it - but without the "therapist control panel". You can then control the bilateral and they can watch it.
My client can see the therapist controls.
Please ask your client to click the "Terminate Session" button at the top right of the page and then to click on your link again.
Which browsers does this tool work with?
This tool has been tested with and supports the following browsers:
- Google Chrome, version 71 or newer. [Recommended for the best user experience]
- Safari, version 12.1 or newer.
- Microsoft Edge, version 80 or newer.
- iPhone & iPad with iOS 13 or newer and with Safari 12 or newer
- Android with Chrome, unless the device is very very old.
- Firefox, version 70 or newer.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer is NOT supported. Users who still use Microsoft Internet Explorer are advised to switch to a newer and more secure browser, e.g. Google Chrome.
The browser support differs for our remote tactile BLS buzzers—see our tactile FAQ.
Can I use this tool in full-screen mode?
Speed: How many seconds does one bilateral pass of this tool take?
The seconds per pass depend on the selected speed level and are as follows:
|Speed level||Seconds per pass||Hertz|
I have a feature request
I always welcome feedback and requests. Just email me: email@example.com
I would like to use this tool across my organization
For our Professional Plan we offer special group rates and will help you roll it out, e.g. via training sessions. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can talk about it.
I would like to use this tool as part of a research study
I would be happy to assist. Email me (email@example.com) and we can talk about it.