Telehealth Certification Institute

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Pathways to Clinical Work: Graduate and Ph.D. Programs and Virtual Instruction

We’ve invited Dr. Whitney Wall, psychologist, and instructor, to speak about pursuing higher education options in psychology and counseling. While there are many options to pursue this work, researching and following these options can be daunting. Increased virtual learning programs create even more options and choices.

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth

We've invited Natalie Kemp to talk with us about her observations of the decrease in adolescent resiliency following the COVID-19 pandemic and how to increase resiliency factors for today's youth. Natalie is very involved in community work and is passionate about working with young adults and adolescents and is part of the REACH program in her community, which stands for Resilience Education: Awareness for Coping & Hope.

Inter-generational family on bench using mobile phones

The Family That Texts Together Stays Together

Technology in Couple and Family Relationships

I can remember the first time I ever used the Internet. I was just starting high school, and my parents had gotten a computer with something called “Prodigy”, an online service allowing dial-up connection to the Internet. I can still hear the sound of the modem waiting for the screen to come up, the anticipation of when the connection would be made, and being amazed I could write a report without looking up something in the musty, nearly complete set of Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia in the dank and webby basement. No disrespect to Funk & Wagnalls, but there was something more magical about being able to have information with the satisfying click of a keyboard.

Fast forward 30 years: I have built a career on investigating how that little click of a mouse and the buzz of a modem coming to life has impacted nearly everything we do in our relationships. The speed with which we have adopted our technologies is unlike any other advances in modern life including the Industrial Revolution. The world has exponentially adopted Internet technologies at an astonishing rate. For example, Asia has the highest number of Internet users with close to 3 billion. Closer to home, nearly 94% of the North American population is connected (Internet World Stats, 2023).

younger woman with her arm around an older woman's shoulder

Hospice and Palliative Care

As I was preparing to graduate with my Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, I did not anticipate that my first post-graduate position would be in Hospice and Palliative Care. My in-field experience leading me to this point was focused on children and families in the foster care system, as well as working with severe and persistent mental illness in adults under the Community Mental Health umbrella. Working in gerontology was not a field in undergrad or graduate school that I would have ever considered. For eight years, I was employed as a Medical Social Worker. I provided treatment and support to patients and their families under the home care umbrella and in the inpatient Hospice Home for end-of-life care. I soon realized this field chose me, and I will be forever grateful that it did. The personal stories and experiences I had the privilege of hearing from this population were such a memorable learning experience for me in so many aspects of my life. It is not every day you can sit down with a WWII veteran and hear of their experience in the war and how they fought at the tender age of 18 for this country in unimaginable circumstances. This would be only one out of thousands of stories people shared with me at the end of their lives. 

Dr. Strayer with her arm on her dog Dooli

What is Animal Assisted Therapy?

Hello!  Let me introduce myself and then share the purpose of this article.  I am Dr. Christina Strayer. I am the Instructor for the Telehealth Certification Institute’s Animal Assisted Therapy-Interventionist credential.   As a person who has witnessed over and over the power of our connection with animals through the human-animal bond, I fell in love with the AAT field in the 1990s as I researched ways, while attending Radford University, to reach out to at-risk-youth and help them develop empathy, increase self-esteem and find purpose.  I found the early work of Boris Levinson in his book, Pet Oriented Psychotherapy, and was fascinated by his case studies of how his pet dog, Jingles, prompted his clients to feel safe and explore their treatment goals in a fun, effective way. He had one young client who was diagnosed with selective mutism that began to talk to Jingles for the first time in session!  I was sold!  

What exactly is AAT?.....

girl speaking with adult over video meeting

The Role of the Virtual School Counselor

In the years leading up to the pandemic, online learning was on the rise in the United States, as increasing numbers of students ranging from kindergarten to the postsecondary level were enrolling in virtual schools and online distance education programs. Covid-19 escalated this trend, and as it ushered in overnight school closures, the groundwork was laid for more deliberate and permanent changes to the educational landscape. Many states, recognizing the unique opportunities that the remote learning setting provides, began approving virtual academies and charter public schools to serve as state-funded educational environments. Some offer part-time hybrid models (with a mix of face-to-face and remote learning), while others offer fully online programs. As a result, many school counselors began offering virtual services and/or completely transformed their school counseling programs into virtual ones.

dictionary page showing the definition of the word opioids

Opiate Use Disorder in our Systems and Community

I have been a substance use counselor for nearly 17 years. When I started, a patient who used opioids or heroin was uncommon; now, if a patient has not used opioids or has never overdosed, we are mildly surprised. When suboxone (buprenorphine) arrived on the scene, we all thought our opioid crisis was over; little did we know. I was talking to one of my coworkers, who is friends with one of the local EMTs; she stated that our town has 6-10 overdoses daily. The population of our town is only around 100,000 people. 

two women sitting across from each other conversing

Methods of Supervision

How are you, as a supervisor? This is a real question. Maybe an odd one, but a real question for an article on methods of clinical supervision. "Methods" are thought of as techniques we employ as a supervisor. While that is part of methods, supervision is multifaceted and involves other aspects for success. Method, paraphrased from the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, is a procedure, way, or process for doing something. Therefore, methods of clinical supervision are not just specific techniques, such as "if I do …  then …. will result". Methods include a process or practice of what is done to reach the goals of supervision. If you understand the what of supervision and the goals or purpose of it, then methods is the how or the intentional process of providing supervision, considering and combining techniques and our approach. 

Clinical supervision increases professional development and competence. There are general goals and specific goals for each supervisee. Some common, general goals are increasing knowledge and developing skills, orientating to the profession and building professional identity, and gatekeeping for the profession. The result is having developed a person qualified for independent practice with diverse populations in various settings.