Telemedicine For Everyone

Telemedicine For Everyone
Woman holding phone to ear, looking at a laptop, and sitting at a table with a large window behind her)
Did you know: Telemedicine and telemental health access is available to you. Have you tried it? Photo Credit: free for commercial use.

If you live in a large city, it’s likely you have already had your first experience with telemedicine.

Suppose on Day Seven of a nasty cold or flu, you decide it’s time to see your doctor. You call up your medical practitioner’s office and request an appointment. In smaller stand-alone practices, you would speak to a receptionist or scheduler, and you would be offered an appointment with your doctor based on his/her availability. In larger multiple-practitioner offices, you might be offered the option of seeing a different doctor other than your primary doctor if you wished to be seen sooner. Yet by phone, you’ve been triaged and placed into the schedule.

Most medical centers began using telephonic triage nurses to help patients get effective medical care in a timely manner, and also keep those who actually did not need to see their doctor from spreading colds and flus to others in a waiting room. Seattle is no exception, and I had the opportunity to work as a Telephonic Triage Nurse in 2011 and 2012. I am happy to report that I learned a lot about the effectiveness of telemedicine during that time!

Telemedicine, particularly in behavioral health settings, is an exciting option for those seeking counseling therapy. Yet perhaps you wonder, as I do, why more people aren’t using it more. Less than two percent of the inquires I receive from potential clients include a request for telemental counseling services (that is, sessions provided over an Internet connection using a HIPAA compatible video conferencing platform, or services provided over the phone).

Until last month, that is. I received an unprecedented number of inquiries about access to counseling sessions either by phone or by video conferencing. And I actually think this is very good news. Read on to find out why.

Continue reading “Telemedicine For Everyone”

    Fall 2016 Welcome Message

    The leaves are turning, the morning air has a familiar crispness to it, and the kids are back in school.

    Welcome to Fall! It’s become my tradition here on the Seattle Direct Counseling blog to welcome visitors to our site at the beginning of the Fall season, as well as to welcome back clients who have taken their summer vacations or have been on hiatus for awhile. Welcome back.

    There is an exciting buzz of possibility and change at SDC. I (Imei) just completed an Ironman race in August, and physically I have never felt more challenged, stretched… and exhausted! Yet, I am thrilled to bring to my work a renewed compassion and focus on helping each one of you move towards the goals that mean the most in your lives.

    Already halfway into September, I have a couple of reminders regarding Seattle Direct Counseling and your mental health

    1. With darkness coming on earlier, I shift evening hours by 30 minutes, so the last session of the day ends at 6:00pm.
    2. Also with the fading light, people who struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) should be considering proactive preparation, such as making sure UV light boxes are in working order, supplementation in the diet is made, exercise increased, and book your strategy session with me early (before October is ideal).
    3.  September is Suicide Prevention Month. Chances are that either you or someone you know struggles with thoughts about suicide. Now is a good time to book an appointment and talk about these thoughts rather than letting them become overwhelming, hopeless monologues. If you are helping someone else to begin therapy because of suicidal thoughts, we are ready to be of help.
    4. By the end of the month, I traditionally see people stop walking or running outside because of the change in weather. Consider your strategy for cross training and for indoor activities that give you a full-body workout, alternating cardio workouts with anaerobic short-intervals of high intensity. Many people find exercise a way to fight winter blues, anxiety, and work stress.
    5. Did you know: Mindfulness Meditation can be a part of your session. Ask us about starting your sessions in the office with mindfulness meditation, as well as meditation exercises you can do at home to help alleviate anxious thoughts and promote focused thought and clarity.

    The most frequent request I am receiving now is whether I am taking new clients in September and October. The answer is: YES, as long as there is room on my schedule. If you are just coming by our website for the first time, welcome. Take your time to peruse our resources, and feel free to book your complimentary consultation.

      Tips for Go Time

      Author, wearing hydration vest, standing outside, with arms upwards in a "Victory" V
      When it comes time to complete a big goal, do you choke or sabotage yourself? If you want to experience something different during, “Go Time” read this post for a few ideas. Photo credit: Jackie Donnelly (Spice And Ink).

      During  my last manual adjustment and medical massage before I flew to the other side of the country to prepare for my Ironman race, I was excited.

      As I headed out the door of my chiropractor’s office, he gave me a piece of welcomed advice, “You know, everyone who does an Ironman is going to encounter a point where you will simply hurt.” Full stop.

      And then, he didn’t offer a solution for the pain. Why? Because there is no solution, there is no way around it. There is just pain. You just have to figure out what to do for yourself when you get there.

      Well, ain’t that the truth!

      The last few months, I’ve been pondering the subject of pain and physical suffering. It’s been a subject easy to think about since I’ve been in pain pretty much the entire Spring and Summer this year. It’s the kind of pain that brings tears to your eyes, that goes with you when you lay your head on the pillow for sleep, and wakes up with you like a heavy dream. There are have been moments of respite, and other moments where I have managed to transform the pain into a whisper of itself. But it still whispers in an annoying sort of way.

      What I wanted for myself was to be given the choice to execute on an extraordinary endurance race. Despite a number of difficult challenges, I have arrived on the cusp of that day. It is now, “Go Time”, the point of no return. As Yoda is oft quoted, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

      In life, “Go Time” is that moment when  the only way to get the value of the resources invested (time, money, emotions/heart, help, etc.) is to follow through.

      Would you be surprised to know that this is the most critical time when people often choke? When you are facing Go Time in your life — with a relationship, a job, finishing your education, or executing a plan on your biggest dreams — what can help you meet Go Time with everything you’ve got? Continue reading “Tips for Go Time”