Welcome Tammie Consejo as our Featured Provider of September!
We are excited to feature Tammie Consejo of beautiful Vermont this month on the Fireside Chat blog! Tammie has been a thera-LINK customer for a couple of years and we just love that she loves and uses thera-LINK so much. Tammie was a critical part of the recent Vermont bill that passed requiring insurance carriers in the state to reimburse for telehealth visits. That goes into effect in October so we thought we'd feature Tammie in September to tell us more about that! Welcome, Tammie!
- What is your name and the name of your practice? How long have you been in practice?
Tammie Consejo; Healthy Minds: Counseling, Consultation & Education; 10 years direct service, 17 year college administration & teaching
- What do you do for fun? What hobbies do you do? Tell us about you outside of your "provider" role. :)
Kayaking, flower gardening, crocheting items for charity auctions and donations, puzzles, hanging out with my toddler grandson, reading
- Where do you practice (state, etc..) and what areas do you specialize in?
Vermont; Serving professionals who help others: Mental Health & Medical Providers, Clergy, Criminal Justice Employees/Judiciary, Politicians, Educators P-College, Executives/Leaders/Managers, Emergency Services Personnel; Train & Supervise Therapists for Licensure and CEU's
- Why did you go into your profession?
It was a calling. I must help others to feed my soul.
- What are you passionate about in your practice?
It is such an honor to be trusted to join others on their journey. I always learn something, and it brings fulfillment to walk a difficult journey and see them come out the other side.
- How long have you been doing online sessions with your clients?
- Why did you start using thera-LINK to see clients?
I started out using a different company. There were too many problems and there was inconsistent tech support. It was not very user-friendly for me or my clients. I did a lot of research and found Thera-link. I used their free trial to make sure I would like it. I love Thera-link and have recommended them to my colleagues. There team is so supportive and enthusiastic. The service is VERY user-friendly. Thera-link gets an A+ from me.
- 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?
There are a mix of opinions. They all find it just as effective as in-person sessions. Some prefer in-person, some prefer online, and others say it doesn't matter. All clients have said it was strange for the first few minutes, and then they forgot all about it as we continued the session. Without a doubt, they find it convenient. Because I work mostly with professionals who have patients, clients, employees and students, many of these clients like the additional anonymity and privacy of online sessions.
- 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?
Be sure to know your state laws well. Practice with technology. Reach out for tech support if you need help. Participate in trainings and/or consulations about delivery of service - contact me!
- Where do you work from mostly? (i.e. home office, beach :), actual office where you see clients in person as well?)
25% online at the moment. Now that Vermont just passed a law to require insurance companies to pay for telemental health, I want to move to 75% online.
- 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 did not need to purchase additional equipment because I already had a laptop with a webcam and an iphone. I did strengthen my internet connection.
- Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
Because online counseling has various laws from state-to-state, it is important to advocate in your state for what you and your clients need. This year, I testified at the Vermont State House to help enact a law requiring that insurance companies pay for online counseling by October 1st of this year. I shared several vignettes about why my clients chose online counseling: physical limitations, transportation challenges in a rural area, lack of childcare, not enough time to travel to sessions, a need for maximum privacy/not running into others in the waiting room, and more. I let others provide the statistics during testimony. I spoke to lawmakers' hearts.
Learn more about Tammie or get in touch with her if you are interested here.