Telehealth Certification Institute

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Addressing Challenges to Virtual Services

In this video interview, Dr. Dominguez, the Founder of Shaping Change, describes how she uses applied behavior analysis with her clients. According to Dr. Dominguez, therapists aim to teach clients new skills while also addressing challenging behaviors with this “hands-on type of therapy.”

Examples include adapting to client learning styles through “visual cards” that cue clients to a therapist’s instruction, or by determining a client’s preferred method for communicating. In Dr. Dominguez’s experience, she’s noticed that when you teach practical skills to clients, there is usually a corresponding decline in challenging behaviors.

How to Train Students in TeleMental Health

In this video interview, you’ll hear how Texas Tech University Health Science Center's Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program - directed by Dr. Logan Winkelman - is training graduate students in telemental health competencies through their innovative online counseling curriculum.

Telehealth and telemental health services can be thought of as essential modalities that fill a crucial gap in service delivery. Dr. Winkelman explains that, at some point, students will “offer some form of telecounseling” during their careers, so learning it during a master’s program can give students a leg up once they graduate.

Remote Monitoring and Biofeedback for Mental Health

In this video interview, Dr. Tanja Jovanovic talks about her research on trauma, resiliency, and the use of a remote monitoring device in therapy sessions. Dr. Jovanovic describes how the Mindfield eSense Skin Response App measures a client’s degree of skin conduction—data that reflects the client’s level of distress—so that clinicians can track the client’s progress during a therapy session or across multiple meetings.

According to Dr. Jovanovic, this type of objective data is useful for mental health professionals because clients often “get detached” when talking about their trauma. As a result, clients tend to underreport their discomfort. By using a reliable device to measure points of activation, the therapy context itself becomes a container for analyzing in-session client outcomes. In one of her research studies where prolonged exposure therapy was implemented via virtual reality technology with military veterans, Dr. Jovanovic found that if clients “responded more [physiologically] before going into therapy, the therapy worked better.”

Counseling Profession's Anti-Racism Efforts

In this video interview, Dr. Ebony White talks with Ray Barrett about the American Counseling Association’s Anti-Racism Commission. During the discussion, Dr. White explains how the commission is addressing “the historical racism and continued exclusionary practices that have existed in the [counseling] profession and the [ACA] organization.”  

On an individual level, Dr. White says that tasks call on the ACA to play a larger “role in [using] decolonized theories and interventions…specifically with Black clients [and] making sure that anti-Black racism, reform, advocacy, and activism is occurring at all levels”—with an additional emphasis on leadership pipelines for marginalized populations.

Social Work in Sierra Leone

George Abu Mansaray, a social worker with Ruth's Hope Kindergarten, talks with Ray Barrett about the professional impact he’s making in Sierra Leone. As a small, non-Western country of about 7 million people, George says that a sustainable approach to social work in Sierra Leone should include an “indigenous model” that co-creates community development projects using “local knowledge.” After getting experience working abroad, George returned to Sierra Leone to help communities that were lacking life-sustaining resources, such as schools, health clinics, and safe drinking water.

Substance-Use Disorder Group Therapy Via Telehealth

In this video interview, Dr. Malcolm Horn talks about using telehealth as a treatment format for substance-use clients. In terms of evidence-based care, Dr. Horn shares how group therapy is often a more effective format than individual therapy for treating substance-use disorders. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic made the online treatment model an even greater necessity for practitioners. During the video, Dr. Horn outlines what steps and strategies you can take to make the most of your online therapy group.

In online group therapy for substance-use disorders, engagement can be one of the most significant challenges for facilitators. According to Dr. Horn, “one of the first things…is making sure you have good technology.” For Dr. Horn, investing in high-quality cameras and microphones has been essential.  Also, by “frontloading [patients] with the expectation [that they will be] engaged,” and emphasizing group participation, sets the tone for group interaction.

Customized Training Helps Enhance Telemental Health Services in NYC

Telehealth Certification Institute was privileged to work with the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute (PSI) of New York City, training their therapists and affiliates to advance their telemental health practice.

Following the three-webinar series, PSI Executive Director, Sarah McCaslin, kindly shared the core reasons her team of therapists decided to increase their telehealth proficiency after two years of providing virtual services to their clients. Sarah also detailed what led them to TCI in particular as well as how their team plans to implement what they learned to strengthen their policies, processes, and practice of telehealth. 

We wish the very best to the amazing team at PSI and we remain a resource for anything that can support the great work they do.

Telemental Health at the CMU Counseling Program

Dr. Sheri Pickover, a Central Michigan University (CMU) Counseling Department faculty member, talks with the Telehealth Certification Institute about how she implemented a telemental health training component for her counseling practicum students. Since CMU is in a sparsely populated part of Michigan, access to mental health services has been a long-time concern for residents. Dr. Pickover notes how valuable telemental health training has been to transition students to an online mode of counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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