Having a telehealth practice has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. I've had a few telehealth clients from pretty much the beginning of my career. COVID 19 hit and many therapists went online temporarily but I am one who decided to make the change indefinitely. Why? Here are 8 reasons!
Thanks to telehealth, I'm able to work with clients from all over Idaho and Nevada (the states in which I am licensed). This includes people in remote areas or in areas without a lot of options when it comes to therapists.
You can't beat the commute time. Not only is this great for me, but many clients have benefited from this over the years, whether in particularly busy seasons of their lives or just normal life and appreciating the ease of attending therapy with no extra driving involved.
3. Comfy feeling
I'll admit: I wear comfortable pants and sometimes even have a cozy blanket when the weather calls for it. My clients do the same and I love when I see that they've brought their own blanket to our session because to me, it means they're ready to be vulnerable and ready to work.
4. Creating a safe space
I try to be mindful of what clients see on my screen, hoping it gives them comfort. But what I love about telehealth is that clients can bring what they need to into our sessions to feel comfortable and ready to work. Sometimes this means their favorite tea or a candle. Sometimes it's nothing extra or special at all, just a familiar room in their home.
In Idaho, we definitely have days when the roads are really slick or the snow comes too quickly for plows to keep up. With telehealth, gone are the days of canceling appointments because of inclement weather.
Of course, if you're feeling too sick for counseling to feel helpful, then I'm going to want to reschedule. However, there are times when clients still want to meet but would really prefer to stay home and don't want to risk sharing their illness. With telehealth, this is possible.
I love when clients' pets make an appearance! It's so sweet to meet these special creatures. My heart swells when a pet knows just the right moment to be affectionate when a client could use the extra comfort, and my clients and I bond through laughing about cats stepping on keyboards.
Related but separate from #7: I consider it an honor to get a glimpse into my clients' lives. Seeing their homes feels vulnerable in a different way and I appreciate their willingness to show me their world in this way. Similarly, my clients know my office is in my home also. I value my clients knowing that I'm very much a human, too.
What am I missing? What are your favorite parts about telehealth?
I'm excited to share that I recently had the opportunity to write an article for Pollen, which is an online magazine for private practice therapists. You can read it here: What to Know About Working with Highly Sensitive People
Let me know what you think!
I'm happy to share that I'm officially EMDR Certified as of September 2022. This represents a lot of extra work and I'm proud to have this title! I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to explain why this might matter to you.
In order to begin practicing EMDR, you need to be a mental health professional and you need to take a 3- day course introducing you to the basics of EMDR. This includes practice as a client and a provider of EMDR. You can then use EMDR on more "simple" cases, such as a single event trauma with a client who doesn't have a lot of trauma history.
To be able to say you have completed basic EMDR training, you need to attend a second 3-day training which focuses on more complex cases. You also need to obtain 10 hours of consultation from an approved EMDR consultant. When these things are done, you can say you've completed basic training.
To become certified in EMDR, you also need:
Then, you can apply. It definitely takes extra work, as you can see, but I think it's important to look for a EMDR *Certified* clinician if you're at all nervous about EMDR or have a trauma history. You can look at EMDRIA's website to find providers who have completed basic training and providers who have gotten certified. It's a great place to look (especially because plenty of people haven't completed basic training but can still offer the modality). You can visit their website here: https://www.emdria.org/find-an-emdr-therapist/
Hopefully this helps explain why EMDR certification matters and why I decided to pursue it. EMDR is a powerful approach and I feel comfortable utilizing it because I've had a good amount of experience and because I know when to seek additional consultation and when to slow down or change our approach.
What remaining questions do you have about EMDR certification?
I recently read a new book about boundaries that I think is going to have a very positive influence on a lot of people: Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab (a Black therapist--which makes me even happier to spread the word about this book!). Tawwab is a relationship therapist and writes the book in a practical, clear way that made me think a lot about the boundaries--and lack thereof--I see in the world around me. The book made me reflect on my clients' lives and relationships, my community as a whole, and my personal life as well. I highly recommend it, really for anyone! I think that many of the issues we have are a result of poor boundaries--even if we aren't necessarily seeing it as a boundary issue.
In her book, Tawwab outlines how to recognize the need for and set boundaries in many areas of life--family, romantic relationships, friendships, work, and social media/technology. I loved seeing how boundary issues show up in all of these areas of life. Chances are, it is easier for you to set boundaries in some areas, and harder in others. She also provides a short quiz to assess your boundaries--are they clear and healthy? Or porous, needing some more definition and work? Or perhaps rigid, maybe benefiting from some re-evaluation? Furthermore, what led you to creating porous or rigid boundaries and how can you address those underlying causes and get your needs met?
Another message that really resonated with me from this book is this: being uncomfortable is PART of the process of setting boundaries. If we can normalize that, it feels better. Expect some discomfort, prepare and equip yourself for it, and lean in.
Another important point? We set boundaries in relationships that matter to us. If a relationship didn't matter, we could end it or choose not to work on it. It can feel bad to set boundaries with loved ones, but by reframing it as an act of love, this can help soften the process.
In summary, I think we'd all be better off if we normalized and respected boundary setting. The fact is, it's not healthy to live as an island, nor is it healthy to live with no or loose boundaries. It creates relationship problems, stress, and loss of self... among many other things. It's normal and understandable to not have healthy boundaries in all areas of your life especially given the lack of role modeling we see in our current society--and especially if you didn't see it when growing up, or if your current relationships don't encourage healthy boundaries either. But, I think that reading this book is a great step towards healthier boundaries for everyone and it's well worth the effort.
Check it out at your library (there might be a long waitlist!) or buy it yourself: https://www.nedratawwab.com/my-book
Pregnancy... there is a lot of variation in the experience--some women seem to have easier ones, some seem to have harder ones. But either way, it's quite a journey! For high sensitive people (HSPs), I think it's safe to say they might be prone to experiencing things more intensely, yet I find that there's not a lot of information or resources out there to support an HSP through all of the ups and downs of a pregnancy. I wrote an online workbook to try to fill this void, and from that, I thought I'd share a few highlights/tips.
These are just a few ideas of many, but hopefully this is helpful and validating! I wish you a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy--but also know that even if those adjectives don't fit, that's okay too!
If you'd like more of this content, check out my Highly Sensitive Pregnancy Workbook!