Telehealth Hit its Stride as COVID-19 Raged

Telehealth sprinted from being an underutilized way to deliver healthcare to being a widely used essential service when the COVID-19 hit the U.S. in early 2020. Now that vaccines are available and many pandemic restrictions are being lifted - a big push is underway to keep the expanded telehealth services from slowing to a crawl.

According to an article in Kaiser Health News, doctors and patients like the service - especially behavioral health patients. 

A survey cited by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), found that 80% of people using community behavioral health services said telehealth was as good or better than the in-person services they used before the pandemic.

I Graduated Already, Why Do I Have to Take Continuing Education Classes?

You completed your undergraduate program, then your master’s degree. You might even have completed a Ph.D. program. You took a licensure exam. You worked under supervision for a year or two. Finally, you were fully licensed. 

But you’re not done with your education just yet. In fact, you likely won’t ever be done - not as long as you want to keep practicing in your profession.

Counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists - in fact, most healthcare professionals - typically are required to take continuing education classes throughout their careers to maintain licensure. 

You can check your state’s CE requirements here. 

Each state has licensure laws that set minimum continuing education requirements. Why?

Recently, Ray Barrett sat down to interview Laura Groshong about the field of social work and the direction in which the field is headed. Laura is a licensed clinical social worker and has been in clinical practice for the past 43 years. She was a registered lobbyist in Washington for five mental health organizations for 25 years. She has been the director of policy and practice for the Clinical Social Work Association nationally since 2006. Laura’s diverse range of experiences allows her to bring a wealth of knowledge to the field. Her passion for social work developed while she was working in the foster care system. She fell in love with the field but decided to pursue the mental health route. 

As technology rapidly advances, healthcare providers are increasingly in need of phone, texting, and fax services that are user-friendly for patients and providers, HIPAA-secure, and under the control of the provider for security reasons. Recently, Ray Barrett interviewed Pankaj Gupta, founder of IPlum, on the topic of meeting technology needs in the healthcare community. 

Recently, Ray Barrett sat down to interview Sam Johnson, LPC, IFS, and EMDR therapist, to discuss providing Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy online. Prior to the pandemic, Sam was providing telehealth to clients. As a provider living in a rural area, Sam began offering telehealth early to meet the needs of clients living at a distance.

Dr. Rosenna Bakari is a psychologist and the founder of Talking Trees (founded in 2010). Talking Trees is an organization that encourages survivors of childhood sexual abuse and incest to seek healing and come out of silence. Dr. Bakari has also written five books related to wellness, including her memoir. Recently, Ray Barrett sat down to interview Dr. Bakari about her work.

Clinicians often wonder, “How can I provide therapy to active-duty military members and veterans?” There is an immense need for comprehensive mental health services among this population and the growing field of telehealth has allowed clinicians more access than ever before to provide services to military personnel, veterans, and their families.

Recently, Ray Barrett sat down for an interview with Dr. Mark Stebnicki, a mental health counselor and instructor for the Clinical Military Counseling Certificate Program, and Randy Phelps, CEO of Give An Hour- a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive, no-cost mental health services to veterans.

Teletherapy Competencies, the What and How

We’re always eager to talk about telemental health competencies and how important they are to teletherapy training programs, but it can be difficult to determine which educational content areas are most useful for you. Universities considering graduate program competencies in telebehavioral health training for their staff and/or students may be seeking guidance in selecting the most effective program. In this article, we describe the course qualities that are often seen in relevant, well-rounded telemental health programs. Using current teletherapy research studies, you’ll see how similar teletherapy competencies are gaining prominence across numerous clinical professionsand why you could benefit from learning them.

In May of 2021, the Association for Play Therapy (APT) released their voluntary practice guidelines for play therapists. This guide outlined key recommendations for conducting safe, effective, and ethically-appropriate therapy sessions. We’ve included our 5 main takeaways from the APT guide, so that you can better assess your level of clinical competence.

When it comes to your telehealth practice, choosing the right technology is quite important! Technology malfunctions can cause hiccups during healthcare appointments and faulty audio devices can cause practitioners to miss critical information. Recently, TCI CEO Raymond Barrett reviewed the pros/cons of various microphones he utilizes while practicing telemental health. 

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