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Displaying items by tag: Interviews

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 18:43

Evidence-Based Computer Assisted CBT

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.

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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.

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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.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2022 21:58

How to Train Students in TeleMental Health

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.”

Because TCI’s 10-course TeleMental Health Training Certificate (THTC) Program provides graduates eligibility to sit for the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH) credential—which has been approved by the Center for Credentialing & Education—there’s an immense added value for new mental health counselors. As soon as graduate students apply for their first job, they demonstrate a commitment to offering alternative counseling options that meet client needs; and since the online environment is so complex, students with advanced training can become online leaders and advocates at their practicum sites.  

According to Dr. Winkelman, the need for telehealth counseling skills “is not going anywhere,” and “offers the opportunity for clients to get counseling services that they wouldn’t otherwise take advantage of.” To be an inclusive mental health professional, it’s important to utilize a variety of strategies and technologies to make counseling possible for everyone.

Logan Winkelman, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, is an Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She has worked in higher education for the past 9+ years. Her scholarly interests include access to mental health and wellness resources through telehealth, emotional intelligence, biofeedback, as well as aging and longevity topics. To learn more about, Dr. Winkelman or the Texas Tech Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, you can visit the counseling homepage.

By Michael Tugendhat

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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.”

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Sunday, 20 March 2022 15:39

Counseling Profession's Anti-Racism Efforts

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.

Dr. White supports the commission’s efforts to actively review ACA bylaws and procedures to move beyond “just using language” or a “blanket approach to rooting out racism in the profession.” On the national and state levels, the group is also pushing for congressional action and research that targets oppressive policies and under-researched topics. According to Dr. White, “document[ing] the history of racism in the profession” is a key part of the process.  

For behavioral health organizations that are interested in applying anti-racism policies, Dr. White recommends honoring “the expertise of the people who are often left out of the conversation” and giving power to the consultants who are proposing changes. By requiring consultants to sign off on new policies, the authenticity of the consultant’s observations is deeply respected. Moving from a bottom-up to a top-down approach—by establishing a vision for change at the leadership level—increases the likelihood that changes will be transformative and long-lasting.  

Dr. Ebony White is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and Clinical Supervisor. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Counseling and Family Therapy and the Program Director of the Master in Addiction’s Counseling program at Drexel University. 

She is also the Executive Director of the Center for Mastering and Refining Children’s Unique Skills (MARCUS), the President-Elect of Counselors for Social Justice, and the Immediate Past Chair for the North Atlantic Region of the American Counseling Association. You can learn more about Dr. White by visiting her website or through MARCUS.  Register for Dr. White’s “Race, Power and Privilege: Addressing Cross Cultural Dynamics in Supervision” course here.

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Friday, 04 March 2022 16:13

Social Work in Sierra Leone

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.

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Tuesday, 15 February 2022 17:36

Substance-Use Disorder Group Therapy Via Telehealth

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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Telehealth Certification Institute was privileged to work with the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute (PSI) of New York City, training their therapists and affiliates to advance their telemental health practice.

Following the three-webinar series, PSI Executive Director, Sarah McCaslin, kindly shared the core reasons her team of therapists decided to increase their telehealth proficiency after two years of providing virtual services to their clients. Sarah also detailed what led them to TCI in particular as well as how their team plans to implement what they learned to strengthen their policies, processes, and practice of telehealth. 

We wish the very best to the amazing team at PSI and we remain a resource for anything that can support the great work they do.

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Tuesday, 25 January 2022 21:03

Telemental Health at the CMU Counseling Program

Dr. Sheri Pickover, a Central Michigan University (CMU) Counseling Department faculty member, talks with the Telehealth Certification Institute about how she implemented a telemental health training component for her counseling practicum students. Since CMU is in a sparsely populated part of Michigan, access to mental health services has been a long-time concern for residents. Dr. Pickover notes how valuable telemental health training has been to transition students to an online mode of counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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