Is Telepsychology Right for Your Practice?

IMG_2159Technology is an awesome tool that can enhance psychological services if done by a knowledgable therapist. For many years I’ve enjoyed working with a lot of people from around the world but it’s not for everybody.

Below I provide the basic notes outlined after a popular talk I give to behavioral health professionals interested in the ins and outs of using the modality of telepsychology in their practice.

[Click here for a pdf with hyperlinks to useful articles, information and resources on this subject. Tele-Psychology  handout]

Let’s begin!

Telepsychology is a big fat subject. For the sake of organization and saving a few brain cells, this talk is divided into four parts that overlap here and there:

I. Introduction & History

II. Why do it? With Whom?

III. Ethical & Legal Considerations

IV. How Do You Do It?

Let’s start with a definition of telepsychology: The provision of psychological services given remotely using telecommunications technology.

Email, texting, faxing, telephone and video conferencing all fall in to this category. Here I mainly focus on video for direct service and email/texting for indirect service (scheduling).

Personally, I am not comfortable with the idea of providing therapeutic service in an email conversation or an instant messaging chat. There is too much opportunity for written words to be misread. I prefer telephone and video. This is a personal choice.

Even though I do believe face-to-face is best, tele-sessions can be a good-enough alternative.

Tele-sessions are very enjoyable and effective. People report satisfaction in the quality of counseling they receive via video chat. When it’s done well it can feel as if the client/patient is in the room with you.

There aren’t a lot of reliable studies that I could find but what I did find suggested that for certain situations video sessions can be as effective for long term symptom relief as face-to-face counseling.

Technology is a gift and like any gift can work for us if we have the wisdom to know how to use it, when to use it and when not to. There are incredible positives to being able to help your clients when they cannot come into the office. There are negatives which we will cover here but over all I believe having the ability to use tele-sessions as an added value to your practice and can be rewarding for you and for your clients.


For All of Us People Pleasers…

10 Steps to Help Conquer Perfectionism

Perfectionism was on my mind this week. I had several conversations with people struggling to keep up with their inner perfectionist. Is it possible to be a slob and still be a perfectionist? Yes! If we think a perfectly immaculate house is the be all and end all of life, we may very well give up and let the dust bunnies take over.

How can we just say no to that nasty perfectionist voice in our heads?

Read this article by Therese Borchard, Beyond Blue, and see what you think…


Perfectionism. It’s the enemy of creativity, productivity, and, well, sanity. In “The Artist’s Way,” author Julia Cameron writes:

“Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop: an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and [causes you] to lose sight of the whole.” 

But you don’t even have to be creating anything to be crippled by perfectionism. It can also frustrate your efforts as a mom, a wife, a friend, and a human being. Because no one and no thing is perfect in this blemished world of ours.

I tackle this adversary everyday. And although my inner perfectionist clearly has hold of my brain many days, I do think I am handcuffed less often by the fear of messing up than I used to be. Here are 10 techniques I use to break out of the prison of perfectionism in order to live and create as freely as I can in an imperfect world.


2013! Warmest wishes for peace of mind, love of self and resiliency of spirit!

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