Welcome Paul Kuzma as our Featured Provider of October!
This month, we've selected Paul Kuzma of beautiful Virginia to be our featured provider here on the Fireside Chat blog! Paul has been a thera-LINK customer for right at one full year and is one our kindest customers. We are always impressed with Paul's demeanor and feedback he gives to us. We also had the pleasure of meeting Paul at the American Association of Christian Counselors conference in Nashville this past weekend and it was such a great conversation and amazing to hear more about the work Paul is doing with pastors. Welcome, Paul!
- What is your name and the name of your practice? How long have you been in practice?
Center for Spiritual Renewal East (located in Christiansburg, VA), and I also operate Pastor For Life (at www.pastorforlife.com)
- What do you do for fun? What hobbies do you do? Tell us about you outside of your "provider" role. :)
Golf, Travel & Long Drives (Southwest Virginia is vacation territory....a mantra of mine is, "I live on vacation!"), Read, Hang out with friends & family.
- Where do you practice (state, etc..) and what areas do you specialize in?
Virginia physically; thanks to Thera-link, all over the nation and world!
- Why did you go into your profession?
I am a Pastor who survived a serious bout of burnout without having to leave ministry. I ended up having many Pastors call me through the years beyond burnout hearing that I "went through something and am still in ministry" who recognized they needed someone who had been there. That's what really launched me into counseling Pastors.
- What are you passionate about in your practice?
I love seeing people, couples, kids, "get it." I love seeing light bulbs go on and people come back alive from places they thought were certain death to them. I love "Resourcing Pastors for a Lifetime of Life-Giving" through counseling.
- How long have you been doing online sessions with your clients?
Almost 3 years
- Why did you start using thera-LINK to see clients?
I recognized the need for secure video service and looked at several services. The added feature of clients logging in and requesting appointments has saved a ton of phone, email, texting time. The price was reasonable and the customer support I received in the beginning and since has always been stellar!
- 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?
My caseload is about 50% online, and I find that most clients take to the online experience very quickly. Very few decline the online option. I have not had any that chose the online method that indicated it was difficult for them at all. I receive lots of positive feedback about it.
- 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?
Placement of your camera is very important. Maintain good eye contact with the camera so that the client sees you looking at them versus looking at your screen. I find that camera placement at the top of the screen is best, but it is still important to look directly into the camera so that you avoid looking like you are looking at something else. Also, pay attention to your own background (is it clean or cluttered?).
- Where do you work from mostly? (i.e. home office, beach :), actual office where you see clients in person as well?)
I work mostly from my office, but take about 50% of my video appointments from my home office.
- 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)
No new equipment. At my home office, I'm on a Macbook. At my work office, I'm using a webcom with a large (32") monitor. It gives me more of a sense of having the client in the room with me.
- Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
I love being married to Colleen for almost 32 years. We are beyond blessed with 2 sons. Joshua is 22, a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps Reserves. Jonathan is 21 and delivers pizza for our local Domino's.
If you are interested in work with Paul or want to learn more, check out his Directory profile here.