Old shed in the woodsSince we started helping mental health professionals with their technology needs, we’ve discovered one of the biggest things driving clinicians towards telemental health:

So many therapists desire to get out of the office and get out into the world without having to take a break from seeing clients.

While there are a number of considerations to take into account, the dream is certainly doable.

To give one example of living that dream, we’re publishing an inspiring letter from our own Erin Durst. Erin is an Oregon LCSW, and she is the Social Work Chair for Person Centered Tech’s advisory board. Erin recently moved to Rome with her family, and has been raving about how well it has worked out with telemental health as a way to keep connected with her clients.

And to support you in living your dream, we’re offering $50 off our Telemental Health Certificate program until March 31st. More details below.

An Inspiring Letter From Erin Durst

Erin Durst in front of the Coliseum

Erin Durst, LCSW. Person Centered Tech’s Advisory Board Chair for Social Work.

Like many mental health professionals, I spend my days talking to others about how to actualize the life they want by overcoming barriers. Yet, paradoxically, I was not fully living in a manner consistent with MY values. I wanted to continue my relationship with the clients I was currently working with, and I highly valued my job both for the professional satisfaction and for what it added to my life. However, I also wanted to be able to spend time with my family while my daughter was young, and I wanted to be able to travel.

Possibly for the first time in history, internet speeds and infrastructure has made this realistically possible. I kept my job and my husband, daughter, and dog; and I moved to Rome, Italy, a place that I have returned to time and time again. From Rome I have been able to travel a lot more due to the relatively favorable convenience and cost—turns out going to Morocco from Rome is pretty quick and cheap, compared to doing it from the West Coast of the US. Of course, we are also surrounded by history in Rome itself. And my daughter is learning Italian in an immersive fashion. It’s been wonderful.

How has this worked out for my practice? Surprisingly well. Shockingly well, in fact. I anticipated that a handful of clients would be interested in transferring their care to telemental health sessions for the duration of my “working sabbatical,” and offered referrals to other therapists. But only two decided to actually leave my care altogether. A couple others took a break from treatment, and most of them continue to see me via telemental health sessions.

Because of the time zones, two of them do sessions before the sun rises, and others fit the sessions into work breaks or go into work or school later on certain days—which amazes me. Strangely, they say that our video sessions feel pretty much like a normal, in-person session.

Obviously there have been a lot of things to think about. How good is my internet connection (internet speeds are notoriously poor in Italy, but luckily my apartment has a fast connection)? How good is theirs? What sort of video program can I use that is both ethically and legally viable, but also convenient for my clients? What happens if they start to struggle in a manner that requires emergency care? And of course, is it even legal for me to practice with clients in Oregon while I am in Italy (or traveling in Switzerland, Morocco, Ireland, Lebanon….and so forth)? Person Centered Tech was always a resource that I depended on, which is why I consult for them—but there is no question that they have been absolutely crucial to me now.

Nothing about this process has been effortless, but being able to maintain my work while seeing the world has been one of the most exciting times of my life. Kids grow up so fast. So do dogs, husbands, and selves. I’m trying to make the most of the time I have, and telemental health has helped me do that.

Announcing:

Cabin Fever Telemental Health Sale
$50 Off the Whole Program until March 31st

Live your telemental health dream and save $50 in the process! Our Telemental Health Certificate program is comprehensive, standards-based, and includes 17 CE hours.

Available only until March 31st!


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