Welcome Sean O'Laoire as our Featured Provider of February!
This month on the Fireside Chat blog, we've got an ultra-special featured provider to kick off February - Sean O'Laoire! Sean has been a thera-LINK customer for more than a year and from day one, we've always talked about how kind and genuine he is. The first time we checked out his website, http://spiritsinspacesuits.com/, we understood why. It's just who he is and it's 100% real! Sean picked up how to use telehealth like a pro and has continued to help us advance thera-LINK to where it is today! He is part of the thera-LINK family and we are thrilled to get to share him and his philosophy here with you all so you can experience him as we have. Welcome, Sean!
What is your name and the name of your practice? How long have you been in practice?
My name is Seán ÓLaoire - which is also the name of my practice. I've been in practice since 1993 (25 years.)
What do you do for fun? What hobbies do you do? Tell us about you outside of your "provider" role. :)
I live on a mountain top in a forested area of northern Sonoma county in California, so I love to trek in the creeks and woodlands. I am an avid reader - I've never owned a TV or a radio - and I've been meditating for 54 years.
Where do you practice (state, etc..) and what areas do you specialize in?
I practice in California and my specialty is the interface between science (I have a B.Sc. in math and physics), spirituality (I spent eight years in seminary training) and psychology (I've a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.) I love working with people near the top of Maslow's hierarchy - people interested in self-actualization and who want to make a difference in the world.
Why did you go into your profession?
I'm convinced that every human being on planet Earth is here because they've volunteered to be incarnated right now. We are part of a cohort who've made what I call a "Preconception Contract" to help our world make the next evolutionary shift into what I call, "Homo Spiritualis." Counseling is my contribution to that process.
What are you passionate about in your practice?
Helping people see all their "problems" as grist for the mill of their own awakening. I'm not as much interested in having them "solve" their problems as much as discovering their mission. I say to my clients, "Your talents are your gift to the world; your problems are your gift to yourself - they are your opportunity to stretch into your divine potential."
How long have you been doing online sessions with your clients?
I began just over a year ago, when I finally grew tired of the long commute to my office.
Why did you start using thera-LINK to see clients?
I investigated several online therapy programs, but "meeting" Heather and her team was a very different experience. She was innovative, patient and very responsive to my baby-steps and questions.
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?
I offered all of my clients the option of being referred out for face-to-face sessions with other psychologists or to experiment with me and thera-LINK. Most of them opted to come along. There were, obviously, benefits and drawbacks to going from in-person to online sessions. There is a physical energy-read from in-person sessions which is difficult to reproduce; but the amount of time and hassle which clients save by not having to leave their homes or places of work in order to battle traffic more than compensates for that. Most feel that it is a very worthwhile trade off.
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 would tell them to be patient with the adjustment and bring as much love and compassion to the audio-visual encounter as, heretofore, they brought to the in-person sessions. Tips? I "experimented" with a bunch of friends while I was working out the technical kinks and getting to know the system. By the time I started the real therapy - with a lot of patient coaching from Heather - it was fairly seamless. Also, experiment with your setting and where to set up your equipment; how to angle your camera; how close to sit to the screen. The "instant sessions" option is a great way of fine tuning that process, so you don't have to do it in an actual session.
Where do you work from mostly? (i.e. home office, beach :), actual office where you see clients in person as well?)
I work from my home office/library, snug in the redwoods.
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 didn't need any new equipment; I simply used my MacPro laptop and ear-buds. I incurred no financial outlay in the process but, in fact, saved a bunch of money on travel costs and office rents.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
I've felt like I have joined a "family" with Thera Link, not just availed myself of an IT-type business model. I love the way Heather and Co. continue to seek feedback - and act upon it - from the end-users. Thank you!