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In this interview, Dr. Peters talks about the Foundation for Recovery Science and Education (FoRSE) Program, and how it’s equipping treatment providers with data to empower the design, modification, and delivery of clinical services. Even though the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) has been around since 1978, the substance-use profession has encountered numerous barriers when attempting to standardize addiction treatment. 

Over the last few decades, establishing evidence around treatment outcomes has become increasingly popular across the entire mental health profession. Dr. Peters says that providers’ desire to “want to measure how they are doing” led the NAATP to develop FoRSE to support providers who don’t have available comparative data to evaluate the strength of the services that they offer to clients.

Chris McLaughlin, MSW, LCSW, talks about the importance of counseling competencies when working with LGBTQ+ clients. Chris uses his knowledge and experience of the LGBTQ+ community to provide an in-depth look at common areas of concern for this client population, and where clinicians often fall short.

During the interview, Chris talks about the immense value of respecting whatever a client shares, and that bringing parents or guardians into the conversation can be “a delicate balance.” Ordinarily, Chris says that his “rule of thumb is to always follow the lead of the youth,” and that his role is to never out youth to their parents—even if safety issues are present. According to Chris, “regardless of the presenting concern,” he always asks questions about sexual orientation and gender identity with his clients. For some youth, they may have never encountered an adult who expressed interest in these issues; and for others, they may be waiting for a safe enough space to be vulnerable.

In this video interview, Ray Barrett of the Telehealth Certification Institute sits down with internationally known cognitive-behavioral researcher and psychiatrist, Dr. Jesse Wright. During the interview, Dr. Wright shares how his decades of research experience have helped validate the clinical power of computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT). Dr. Wright emphasizes that computer-assisted therapy is not about eliminating the person in the process, but “use computer programs to help build skills, teach some of the basic concepts, rehearse patients, help them do…homework or action plans, and do some of the routine things that cognitive therapists often have to do.”

Dr. Wright started researching the potential of using computer-assisted technology or multimedia as a hybrid therapy model in the 90s, so there are numerous articles and studies that point to the effectiveness of CCBT. In fact, Dr. Wright found that the remission rates were “more than double in people who received computer-assisted cognitive therapy” compared to treatment as usual.

In this video interview, Dr. Katherine M. Hertlein’s talks with Ray Barrett of TCI about integrating technology into couple and family therapy sessions. Dr. Hertlein uses her experience as a Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to emphasize the importance of telebehavioral health competencies when training counseling graduate students—and what skills practicing clinicians can learn to optimize client care.

In general, the couple and family therapy fields were slow to embrace telehealth as a worthy format for clinical work. According to Dr. Hertlein, “there was a fear around [using telehealth]” because of the significance placed upon the therapist-client relationship. But when COVID-19 set in, there was a stronger wave of acceptance for online counseling.

In this video interview, Dr. Dominguez, the Founder of Shaping Change, describes how she uses applied behavior analysis with her clients. According to Dr. Dominguez, therapists aim to teach clients new skills while also addressing challenging behaviors with this “hands-on type of therapy.”

Examples include adapting to client learning styles through “visual cards” that cue clients to a therapist’s instruction, or by determining a client’s preferred method for communicating. In Dr. Dominguez’s experience, she’s noticed that when you teach practical skills to clients, there is usually a corresponding decline in challenging behaviors.

In this video interview, you’ll hear how Texas Tech University Health Science Center's Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program - directed by Dr. Logan Winkelman - is training graduate students in telemental health competencies through their innovative online counseling curriculum.  

Telehealth and telemental health services can be thought of as essential modalities that fill a crucial gap in service delivery. Dr. Winkelman explains that, at some point, students will “offer some form of telecounseling” during their careers, so learning it during a master’s program can give students a leg up once they graduate.

Dr. Winkelman points out that most training vendors have a broader focus on “telehealth or telemedicine [content, but it] …just doesn’t dive deep enough for [learning] telemental health counseling.” Dr. Winkelman decided to outsource the program’s telemental health training to the Telehealth Certification Institute (TCI) because she didn’t want to be “behind the curve” on evolving online counseling standards. For Dr. Winkelman, the underlying message was clear—it’s “too big of a topic to get wrong.”

In this video interview, Dr. Tanja Jovanovic talks about her research on trauma, resiliency, and the use of a remote monitoring device in therapy sessions. Dr. Jovanovic describes how the Mindfield eSense Skin Response App measures a client’s degree of skin conduction—data that reflects the client’s level of distress—so that clinicians can track the client’s progress during a therapy session or across multiple meetings.

According to Dr. Jovanovic, this type of objective data is useful for mental health professionals because clients often “get detached” when talking about their trauma. As a result, clients tend to underreport their discomfort. By using a reliable device to measure points of activation, the therapy context itself becomes a container for analyzing in-session client outcomes. In one of her research studies where prolonged exposure therapy was implemented via virtual reality technology with military veterans, Dr. Jovanovic found that if clients “responded more [physiologically] before going into therapy, the therapy worked better.”

In this video interview, Dr. Ebony White talks with Ray Barrett about the American Counseling Association’s Anti-Racism Commission. During the discussion, Dr. White explains how the commission is addressing “the historical racism and continued exclusionary practices that have existed in the [counseling] profession and the [ACA] organization.”  

On an individual level, Dr. White says that tasks call on the ACA to play a larger “role in [using] decolonized theories and interventions…specifically with Black clients [and] making sure that anti-Black racism, reform, advocacy, and activism is occurring at all levels”—with an additional emphasis on leadership pipelines for marginalized populations.

George Abu Mansaray, a social worker with Ruth's Hope Kindergarten, talks with Ray Barrett about the professional impact he’s making in Sierra Leone. As a small, non-Western country of about 7 million people, George says that a sustainable approach to social work in Sierra Leone should include an “indigenous model” that co-creates community development projects using “local knowledge.” After getting experience working abroad, George returned to Sierra Leone to help communities that were lacking life-sustaining resources, such as schools, health clinics, and safe drinking water.

In this video interview, Dr. Malcolm Horn talks about using telehealth as a treatment format for substance-use clients. In terms of evidence-based care, Dr. Horn shares how group therapy is often a more effective format than individual therapy for treating substance-use disorders. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic made the online treatment model an even greater necessity for practitioners. During the video, Dr. Horn outlines what steps and strategies you can take to make the most of your online therapy group.

In online group therapy for substance-use disorders, engagement can be one of the most significant challenges for facilitators. According to Dr. Horn, “one of the first things…is making sure you have good technology.” For Dr. Horn, investing in high-quality cameras and microphones has been essential.  Also, by “frontloading [patients] with the expectation [that they will be] engaged,” and emphasizing group participation, sets the tone for group interaction.

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