Welcome Suze Gadol Anderson as our Featured Provider of July!
Suze has been one of our longest tenured providers on thera-LINK and she's awesome! No, we really mean it. Suze always gives us kudos when warranted and constructive criticism when needed. She has pushed us to improve and enhance thera-LINK throughout the years and she's been a willing participant in testing new features out. We have selected Suze to be our first ever "Featured Provider of the Month" here on the Fireside Chat! Suze does nearly all of her work online and primarily uses her Android tablet to do it with. Read more about her story here! Without further adieu, we introduce Suze!
- What is your name and the name of your practice? How long have you been in practice?
My name is Suze Gadol Anderson, LCSW, and my practice name is Authentic Insights Inc.
- What do you do for fun? What hobbies do you do? Tell us about you outside of your "provider" role. :)
I do a pretty decent job of entertaining myself. I read, watch movies, cook, crochet, ride bicycles, photograph the world or ride motorcycles. We have an under utilized kayak, which would be nice to use more, as well as the skis we own. Last winter I was able to sled, and hope to go snow tubing. I love to travel, in state, in the United States and the world. Work can get in the way of fun, though it's needed so I can afford to have fun!
- Where do you practice (state, etc..) and what areas do you specialize in?
I'm licensed to practice in Texas & Oregon. I lived in Dallas & had a full time practice at an office. I used video when the weather was bad or someone wasn't able to come in to see me. Then, my husband and I got the opportunity to move to Oregon. I was "raised up" as a therapist to terminate with client with this type of move, but technology has changed that! I now live in Eugene, Oregon, and all of my clients are in Texas. I work well with people who have a desire to change how depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder affect their life, as well as wanting to improve their self esteem, communication and relationships. Sometimes folks struggle with life changes, and I can assist with working through that, as well as psycho-education, which can be very helpful. If someone can be honest about drug or alcohol use, I can assist with that as well. I've been called a generalist before.
- Why did you go into your profession?
Many reasons. It's a family profession, my father was a psychologist, my mother and step-mother were social workers. As a kid, everyone came to me talk about their problems. I personally have had I individual, group & family therapy, and I wouldn't be happy with who I am today if I hadn't invested in myself, and I know therapy works. Ultimately, I love people and discussing life.
- What are you passionate about in your practice?
I try to find a way to connect with everyone I work with. I want to be myself the best I can be while having good therapeutic boundaries. I really want people to feel better about themselves and living the way that feels right to them, knowing they'll be accepted as they are, even if they're not happy with themselves.
- How long have you been doing online sessions with your clients?
I used Skype off and on since 2009. I went full time using online only in January of 2015.
- Why did you start using thera-LINK to see clients?
I love that a Dallas, female therapist created thera-LINK, and chose to back her platform. The customer service & tech support is awesome. Those folks are so patient, kind and successful! The quality of the video is great!
- Do your clients find that online sessions offer them similar results as coming in to an office? Do they prefer online sessions or in office? Was it a difficult adjustment for them?
Online is a huge adjustment for many. Some clients do prefer online sessions. Since I moved, it's been a great way to continue working with many clients, and we all agree it's been a great way to bridge the distance. We miss being in the same room together, and I go back to Texas to see people in person from time to time. The hardest adjustment is for new clients.
- What would you tell someone just starting out with an online option for their clients? Any tips/tricks or things you've learned along the way?
I see online therapy as another option to assist clients, not an alternative to having an office. When someone wonders about online therapy, invite them to your office. I've had clients connect with me online to test it out before deciding to work with me online. I've had "lunch" with colleagues, and have regular consultation. I do my best to explain in detail what to expect with every aspect of the online process. Expect sessions to be interrupted by technology's failure, warn clients it could happen & plan with them what you both will do. I have a few clients who are techies, and they have verified for me the security of thera-LINK, so rest assured it's safe. If the volume is low in your session, you may want to reconnect. If I'm in session with a client, I can drag my screen down, reconnect in thera-LINK and when that process is complete on my end, many times my client is still connected in the session; I don't always have to go back to the waiting room to get them. Reach out to Heather, Lori or tech support while in a session if you need help, that's what they're there for. Know what format you and your client are using, because android and Apple work differently.
- Where do you work from mostly? (i.e. home office, beach :), actual office where you see clients in person as well?)
I have a home office, though our Wi-Fi allows me to work on our deck when the weather is nice. I love that my headset can allow me to have privacy, whether I'm inside or out. I have been known to have as session in my car looking at a river from time to time, depending on how much work I have that day and what else I have going on in my life.
- Did you purchase any new equipment when you embarked in an online practice? Either way, what do you use for your sessions? (i.e. laptop/tablet, webcam, headset, big monitor)
I decided to get a top of the line at its time tablet with its own phone line, with a built in camera. I just use simple ear buds with a built in microphone. I've used a high end computer, and if my tablet runs out of juice (video can really drain a battery), I've even used my phone.
- Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
I would like people to know that they can see a therapist online & receive the same quality of care they'd receive if they went to a counselor at their office. I'd like therapists to know that online therapy is a valid, ethical and successful means to practice. It's okay to miss being with clients in person, though!
If you are interested in connecting with Suze, please read more about her on her profile page here.
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