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Category Archive for 'The Web-Based Therapy Office'

Just learned that SimplePractice is about to pilot a group practice module. I’ve been admiring their software for some time, and, now that we have a group practice (www.BridgeCounselingOakland.com), this will be just about as close to perfect as I can imagine. What about the scanning of my paper notes? I scanned hundreds of pages, [...]

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I’ve kicked around building a practice management system with my brilliant programmer buddy from my consulting days. Everything I could find out there was overbuilt, and hence too complicated for a ten-minute break that includes saying good-bye, going to the bathroom and making a cup of tea. But we learned some years ago that a [...]

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All I want is a piece of therapist software that: 1. Allows me to enter the cash and checks I receive, and print statements. 2. Keeps my calendar, allows people to book appointments online, and sends reminder emails. 3. Lets me enter reminders for the next session. 4. Provides a way to enter session notes. [...]

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My needs as an individual therapist in a private practice are so simple. I just want to keep track of appointments and money, and keep simple notes about each session. There are dozens of software packages for therapists out there, this should be a slam-dunk. But it isn’t. I’ve now looked at 15 or 20 [...]

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Oy vey, I’ve been combing through the (many, many) software packages which offer to make my life much simpler as a psychotherapist and automate psychotherapist tasks, and so far they’ve all gotten carried away with all the EXTRA neat things they could help me do – except I DON’T WANT TO! I just want to [...]

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I appreciated this entry in a therapist’s blog. It’s nuts that we’re not taught how to do marketing in grad school along with CBT and Child Development. It’s one of the key reasons why psychological services are so widely under-utilized. Marketing therapy is a gift to the community. The reason I have so many referrals [...]

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Hey, get a Skype session going and provide therapy anywhere in the state! Sounds easy enough. But there are a lot of ways things can go wrong. For example, how do you know that the “container” at the client end is in fact private? Or, if a client across the state rapidly declines and then [...]

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Really? Here’s a link to a discussion a woman started after her former therapist sent her a friend request on Facebook. She accepted, and then felt worried about it, realizing that she wishes she hadn’t. This made me laugh at first until I started to think about how low the standards sometimes are for the [...]

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The *excellent* psychology blog, PSYBLOG, has an article on 10 problems with the use of email. One study found that 59% of email users check mail from the bathroom. The NY Times ran an article last week about how overstimulated we’ve gotten, but it hadn’t exactly occurred to me that by extending psychotherapy to the [...]

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Google Health is expanding their services to allow users to track “wellness” data. They have been providing a place to keep your medical record (if you’re willing to enter all that information off of reports from your doctors, hospitals, etc.), but they’ve added a feature so users can track things like exercise and diet. Why [...]

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Found another outfit that is working on the policy issues related to “telementalhealth.” They are at the University of Colorado, Denver, and they’ve keyed on this central issue of OUTREACH. Their mission is to use technology to make mental health services more available to the under-served. I like they way they think! “The telepsychiatry developmental [...]

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Many therapists, if they walk into a restaurant and see that a client is in line in front of them, will turn around and go find somewhere else to eat. I once sat down at a movie and realized that my analyst was sitting a couple rows ahead of us eating popcorn. We stayed… and [...]

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It seems obvious that these online counseling websites are the refuges of hucksters and snake-oil salesmen, right? You can go online, start chatting with a “counselor,” and pay by the minute. (Are these folks licensed? Sometimes.) When you’re done, you rate the counselor the same way you rate a bookseller on Amazon. The problem is [...]

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Hoo boy. Marlene Maheu, Ph.D. presented at APA last week, partly covering all the different ways you could get into serious hot water doing online or remote psychotherapy. Like, how do you know the patient is who she says she is? What if, this session, it’s actually the patient’s KID at the other end, sitting [...]

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I was impressed by Joseph McMenamin, MD, JD, when he presented last week at APA on the laws related to providing therapy online. Like, one therapist asked, “What if I’m providing therapy to someone who lives in a neighboring state?” I thought, geez, obvious, you have to follow the laws of that state (and probably [...]

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Came across an online course that investigates a lot of these topics, including things like “To friend or not to friend,” (I don’t think so, no) and digital record keeping (waaay past due in psychotherapy). Here’s something from the course description: “The first section of the course is an Introduction to the clinical and ethical [...]

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This will give you the name of the diagnosis and the numeric code, but it won’t give you any of the criteria. I’m guessing that the reason for that is that the American Psychiatric Association charges software vendors on a per usage basis for displaying that information. In other words, every time someone clicks the [...]

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Wow, this is great: https://catalog.ama-assn.org/Catalog/cpt/cpt_search.jsp?checkXwho=done.

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I’m coming across a rich panoply (“a wide-ranging and impressive array or display,” according to www.dictionary.com, and why didn’t I just say “array”?) of websites that consolidate web material on this topic.  One that I like is: http://www.wheretheclientis.com, which is curated by Will Baum, LCSW (www.willbaum.com).  He has wide-ranging interests on office practices.    Also, the Online [...]

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In a couple of my men’s groups, the members have put together listserves and communicate a lot via email.  It gives me the willies, because those emails could end up anywhere, for anyone’s eyes, but they all know that.  It means that the group has a way to stay in touch throughout the week, between [...]

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I’m happy to see that the APA meeting in San Diego (www.apa.org) next month will have a couple sessions taking up these questions related to extending the frame electronically.  One session, Computers and the Couch—New Norms of Information-Age Practice , will address email as well as the use of social networking tools.  A plenary session intriguingly [...]

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We want to extend what we do using email, but HIPAA (and good sense) requires that we take responsibilty for, “”securing patient records containing individually identifiable health information so that they are not readily available to those who do not need them.” I think most therapists address this problem by restricting email communication to scheduling.  [...]

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Weird.  Many of the therapists I know (especially those under 60) use email to communicate with clients.  I use it with some to schedule.  Then I had one start sending me dreams, and something stopped me from saying, “Let’s wait and talk about those in our sessions.”  This raises some hair-raising questions.  Sure, my email [...]

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