3 Ways That Online Clinical Consultation for Therapists is Effective
By Shannon Heers
Getting regular clinical consultation for your cases is highly beneficial for therapists just like yourself. Especially if you are working in private practice, without the support or teams within an agency or community mental health, clinical consultation can make a big difference between being a “good” therapist and a “great” therapist.
In today’s world, it is so easy to get clinical consultation with all of the online and virtual options available. Say you have just an hour for lunch in between your morning and afternoon clients – it’s so convenient to jump on a virtual meeting for online clinical consultation. Regardless of whether you are engaging in individual consultation or group consultation, it is definitely worth it to check out online consultation options for you.
As a clinical supervisor, I’ve both led and participated in various clinical consultation groups over the years. I’ve also gotten my own individual clinical consultation. Now I love that you can access these options virtually, without the commute. While there are many benefits to clinical consultation, here are the top 3 ways that online clinical consultation can be effective for therapists.
Professional Growth and Development
Therapists love to learn! We are so curious about people. There is so much to learn about in the world and how it affects your clients and potential clients. And, professional development is often a requirement for you to renew your clinical license. While every state is different for what counts towards professional development, in many cases clinical consultation will count.
Clinical consultation is most effective when it’s done on a regular basis. Sure, it’s helpful to do one-time only clinical consultations regarding one particular case or with a particular specialist. But you’ll get the most benefits, the most growth and development as a therapist, if you get ongoing and regular clinical consultation.
Online clinical consultation can offer you a safe place to discuss challenging cases and seek guidance from therapists and/or supervisors who are more experienced than yourself. Improving your clinical skills so you can have better client outcomes is always a goal for therapists. You can also gain new insights, and different perspectives on your cases, and stay up-to-date with the latest therapeutic approaches through clinical consultation.
Case Review and Feedback
Whether you engage in 100% peer consultation or if you work with a clinical supervisor for your consultation, you’ll get some sort of feedback. Presenting your complex or challenging cases online to your colleagues will allow you to receive valuable feedback and different perspectives from therapists who approach counseling from different modalities and theoretical orientations.
Case consultation can help you develop better insights into your clients, thus leading to better treatment planning and outcomes. It also helps to determine if working with a particular client is within your scope of expertise, or if it is more ethical to refer the client out to a specialist. When cases or decisions aren’t clear, it always helps to ask others that you know and trust.
It is also helpful to discuss potential ethical challenges and all of its complexities with your peers. What seems to you to be vague may be a clear cut decision from your clinical supervisor or your consultation group. When in doubt, consult!
Reduce Isolation and Burnout
Private practice therapists, and even therapists in agencies, hospitals or community mental health, have to be proactive about protecting yourself against burnout. Your field of work can be isolating, especially if you do not work within a team or practice on your own. Your work is emotionally demanding.
Online clinical consultation can give you a space to connect with peers, share your daily experiences, and receive much-needed emotional support. You can do it from the comfort of your home, your office, or even outside on your back deck. Connecting with others in a meaningful way is great burnout prevention, and can lead to improved mental well-being and job satisfaction.
If you’re a therapist, you want to stay in the field for the long haul. You don’t want to get burnt out or leave the field because it is too much. Having supportive peers, and even a clinical supervisor, behind you is a major protective factor in helping you to have a long career doing the meaningful work that you love best.
Have I convinced you yet to consider online clinical consultation for yourself? Online clinical consultation is convenient, time-efficient, and easily accessible. It will help you with your professional growth and development, with case consultation and feedback, and will help you to reduce your isolation and prevent burnout.
If you’re seeking online clinical consultation today, check out our online consultation groups that are designed specifically for therapists just like you, who are looking for support, clinical skill development, and connection. We’d love to hear from you!
How we can help
Are you seeking peer consultation within a community of other like-minded private practice therapists? Check out our Clinical Consultation Community, which offers individual and group consultation, monthly clinical trainings, and more! What is holding you back? Get started today with peer consultation!
You can also sign up for a free phone consultation to discuss options and learn more about us!
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, approved clinical supervisor, guest blogger, and the owner of a group psychotherapy practice in the Denver area. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Firelight Supervision on Instagram and Facebook.