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Podcast #52: How to Succeed at Teletherapy: Practical Tips for Therapists

If you’re a therapist in 2020, I have some good news for you: Teletherapy isn’t something you “just have to suffer through until things get back to normal.” You heard that right! Teletherapy can work for you and your clients in the long term.

Let me back up.

One of the biggest challenges facing therapists this year is the unavoidable switch to teletherapy.

Most therapists have had to close up their physical offices and work from home. But in an industry where meeting with clients one-on-one is standard procedure, it can be hard to make the switch over to a virtual practice.

From figuring out telehealth software and internet connections to trying to convince clients that a virtual meeting is a great option for them, transitioning to teletherapy can be tough.

[Related Post: Three Ways to Minimize the Impact of Coronavirus on Your Business]

That’s why in this week’s episode I’m talking to Dr. Goali Bocci, award-winning licensed clinical psychologist, and teletherapy expert. She’s been running her own private teletherapy practice long before COVID came on the scene, and today, she’s agreed to share her secrets, tips, and tricks with us.

We cover things like:

  • Why teletherapy isn’t something you just have to suffer through until things get back to normal. It can work for you and your clients in the long-term!
  • Practical ways to make teletherapy sessions a success
  • How to take care of yourself while working from home as a therapist

Here’s a sneak peek of the episode:

>> [6:38] Conduct your teletherapy sessions over video instead of over the phone (if possible). This helps replicate the one-on-one feel of regular therapy and gives clients the extra support they need throughout the session.

>> [7:00] Set up your home therapy practice like your regular office. By arranging your decor and furniture in a way that replicates the setting and atmosphere of your office, clients will feel an added sense of security and peace of mind during video teletherapy sessions.

>> [7:30] Pay attention to presentation! Always conduct video sessions in the same room with the same background and lighting, and dress like you would in face-to-face sessions to keep things consistent and professional.

>> [8:38] Take time to get to know your telehealth software plus use a teletherapy-friendly management program and an ethernet cable. Also, put your client at ease by helping them with the set-up process. You want your internet connection, the program platform (and you and your client’s use of it!) to be seamless and confident so the sessions go smoothly and there’s no wasted time.

>> [11:30] Be flexible and roll with the flow! Choppy connections, interruptions, and computer shutdowns happen. When things go wrong, assure your clients that it’s no big deal, and then pick up right where you left off.

>> [12:45] Teletherapy is becoming more and more the norm (not just a placeholder for a crisis like COVID), with research now showing that teletherapy is just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy. However, it’s important for therapists to recognize the differences and limitations of telehealth and pursue special training and certifications to better treat their clients in a virtual setting.

>> [25:02] Working from home as a therapist is no easy task and it’s easy to feel burned out and exhausted. Intentionally set aside time for self-care (doing laundry between sessions doesn’t count!) so you can better show up for your clients and the people around you.

Relevant Links:

How to Succeed at Teletherapy: Practical Tips for Therapists

Goali Saedi Bocci, Ph.D., is an award-winning licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, published author, millennial expert, TEDx speaker, and media personality. She earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, completed her internship at UC Berkeley, and her post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Learn more about Goali at www.drgoali.com.

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