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Telehealth Explorer Blog

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 The use of mobile devices and mobile apps have become the norm. Mobile apps solve people's need for purchases, information, connection, health and nutrition tracking, and mental health. Deciding which mobile app to use for a specific mental health need, such as managing depression, can be difficult. There are thousands of apps to choose from and the information available on the apps’ sales pages are often not adequate to make an informed decision.

Clinicians need to be competent at reviewing apps before recommending them to clients. Individuals seeking to utilize apps also need guidance in making a smart decision. Professional organizations have carefully created guidelines for evaluating apps for mental health. For example Raymond Barrett, our CEO, as a member of the American Telemedicine Association has been on an ATA task force for establishing tool for evaluating mobile apps for depression.

JAMIA recently published their study on the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) initiative to bring telehealth to Veterans in serious need of healthcare and with barriers to accessing care. Eighty-six VA facilities provided tablets with telehealth capabilities to 6,745 patients.

Louisiana's LPC Board of Examiners has enacted their Teletherapy Guidelines for Licensees, which requires telemental health training prior to licensees providing teletherapy.  The new regulation is clear, helpful, and reasonable to comply with. 

In June of 2018, I provided a two-part (two-day) training on TeleMental Health at the University of North Florida as part of a grant project called CMHC CONNECT (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Creating Opportunities Needed in North Florida for Educating Counselors through Technology). The project was funded by the Humana Foundation and held in partnership with UNF. According to the university’s follow-up summary, they “contracted with Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC to provide TeleMental Health Training for CMHC students and mental health providers with comprehensive information on the establishment and provision of TeleMental Health services to clients.

This week Raymond Barrett, CEO of Telehealth Certification Institute, had the opportunity to interview Lisa Wozniak, a professional marketing consultant and the founder/owner of Woz Marketing, which according to their website (Link) is “a social media marketing company dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners and medical professionals.” The full video of their conversation can be found below.

Ruby Blow, owner and operator of Atlanta-based Development Counts, provides clinical supervision, consultation, and training. Among her many licenses and certifications, Ruby is an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). She has provided services since 2001 and increasingly, Ruby has seen a shift in the mode of services to electronic meetings (primarily via video conferencing) rather than in-person.

In this interview with Dr. Douglas Weiss, Ph.D., we discuss the impact that using technology has had with clients, the importance of being appropriately trained when providing treatment for sex addiction, and the way his specialty practice works in conjunction with other counselors who provide care for other conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Steven Levenkron, M.S., one of our alumni, is a groundbreaking and well-known psychotherapist specializing in anorexia, self-mutilation, OCD, and sexual abuse. He is the author of both fiction and non-fiction books which provide theoretical analyses in his areas of expertise. In a career that began in 1970,  Levenkron has provided over sixty-thousand hours (and counting) of therapy and boasts a 90% recovery rate for his patients.

Ray Barrett of Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC recently sat with Steven Levenkron to discuss his years of experience and the success he has experienced when using technology in his treatment of patients.  Levenkron has found that abuse victims are more open when care is provided at a distance. When those clients find themselves alone and in a secure environment and at no physical risk from others, they tend to open more quickly and disclose to the provider - hence, care and treatment begin much faster. For abuse victims, non-verbal communication (such as email) is the most effective for opening up, followed by audio (telephone), and video conferencing. The least effective style of meetings for this clientele is same-location sessions.

Telehealth services help to ensure that patients are able to receive the care they need when they need it. Same day care is available from providers using services such as virtual visits or video visits. By minimizing travel time, extending availability, and increasing flexibility, caregivers can offer more opportunities for providing much-needed healthcare services.

Virtual counselors provide an array of online therapy options that include couples counseling, online marriage counseling, and online Christian counseling, to name just a few. Online therapists use a variety of mediums to communicate and "meet" with clients, providing the same standard of care as a traditional practice.

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