Welcome Tara Ammersen, December's featured Provider of the Month!
Tara Ammersen joined thera-LINK so that she could start utilizing telehealth to increase the amount of time she spent at home with her family while launching and growing a new practice as a solo practitioner. Now, she refers her colleagues to thera-LINK left and right! We are inspired by Tara's tenacious spirit and dedication to her clients, and we are grateful to have her in the thera-LINK family.
What is your name and the name of your practice? How long have you been in practice?
My name is Tara Ammersen. I am still brainstorming on my official practice name, but right now my official documents state Tara Ammersen, LCSW. I have been practicing as a clinician for 9 years. My private practice has been open for 1 year.
What do you do for fun? What hobbies do you do? Tell us about you outside of your "provider" role. :)I absolutely love and cherish my time with my family. Any time I can get outside or on an adventure with my toddler son, I am my happiest. We also love to bake together as a family. I love to read self-help books and listen to podcasts in my personal time. Kickboxing is my favorite physical activity and I've recently taken up a weekly yoga class that really helps me stay grounded.
Pirates in Pajamas :) My son and I read it every night.
Favorite TV Show/Movie?Elf. I'm in the Christmas spirit.
Where do you practice (state, etc..) and what areas do you specialize in?
Syracuse, NY. I specialize in PTSD, anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship issues. I work a great deal with the LGBTQ population in my private practice. I work with veterans in my day job.
Why did you go into your profession?I experienced a trauma myself and decided I wanted to learn how to help others work through their trauma. I took an intro to Psychology course in college and it absolutely fascinated me. I went with Social Work for my graduate program because I felt like it provided me with more career opportunities and options.
What are you passionate about in your practice?I am absolutely fascinated by NeuroScience; after completing a training called 'Rewiring the Anxious Brain' I felt inspired to use the tools I learned in my own practice. I strive to help my clients get to the bottom of how their brain works and why. I utilize the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model to challenge their thought processes that have developed over time. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than when one of my clients has an "Ah-Ha! Moment" and I can see those connections being made.
How long have you been doing online sessions with your clients?
Exactly one year.
Why did you start using thera-LINK to see clients?I had lunch with an old colleague who inspired me to start my own practice after she had left her full time job to start her own. She seemed so fulfilled and happy. I knew I wanted to maximize my time at home with my growing family and that telehealth would allow me to work from home in the evenings and weekends. Upon starting my practice, I researched many different versions of telehealth software. I wanted something that would be secure and easy to use for myself and my clients. I loved the simplicity of thera-LINK and after comparing it to other services out there, knew it would be a good fit for 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?
Absolutely. I think the clients who may be skeptical at first end up loving it (usually within the first session) because of the convenience and ease of use. I find it really caters to busy professionals and those that otherwise may not have access to services. The feedback has consistently been that they prefer the 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?
I have already helped several of my colleagues with starting their own telehealth practices and have referred all of them to thera-LINK. I share with them how easy it is to use and encourage them to add on the secure messaging. It is such a simple and convenient way to keep in touch with clients and have that peace of mind that all communications are secure.
Where do you work from mostly? (i.e. home office, beach :), actual office where you see clients in person as well?)
I work from home. I have an office space currently in our third bedroom which will soon be a nursery. It looks like there is a SheShed in my future...