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Summer Solstice 2020

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May 18, 2020

Telehealth Communication

Last month a majority of mental health providers were suddenly thrust into the world of telehealth. If you were one of these practitioners, you have likely developed an opinion of working over video. My very unscientific polling of colleagues indicates people tend to be polarized into one camp or the other (love/hate). Telehealth is new for many, and one thing I know about new experiences is they tend to be uncomfortable. Having done my first telehealth session in 2013, I was somewhat prepared to jump into the environment, and yet not. I have never done telehealth within a residential facility, and never without new equipment in spaces set up specifically for this purpose. All new situations come with a learning curve and telehealth is an ever changing opportunity to learn.

Therapy can be somewhat uncomfortable for providers right now as we navigate a new world of helping people live through and manage the stress of a current traumatic situation that we ourselves are not sure how to navigate. We do not know how to do a pandemic. We are learning as we go, hopefully changing our process in a positive way.

Our friends at ideastream reported on a new study https://www.annfammed.org/content/18/3/272) identifying ways that practitioners can build stronger relationships over telehealth. (https://www.ideastream.org/news/new-study-suggests-ways-doctors-can-foster-relationships-through-telehealth)

Practitioners can work on developing their telehealth skills to improve their outcomes and experience with this modality. There are a ton of trainings right now related to this, but the best I’ve seen is here. (https://www.nicabm.com/improving-telehealth-sessions/ )

Telehealth provides new and exciting possibilities for reaching clients. We can create a new normal that allows us to remain connected while physically apart.

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