My name is Miriam Bellamy. I am a LMFT, and I’ve been in practice for almost 20 years. I specialize in working with couples around issues of parenting, infidelity, sex, and general conflict and distance. I live in Fort Collins, Colorado and my part time office is close to the campus of Colorado State University. I also have a second part time office in Denver. I have been practicing telemedicine for about 5 years but more so recently when my family and I moved from Georgia here to Colorado 6 months ago. Having been in practice in Georgia for nearly 20 years, I decided to take my practice with me. I have been able to continue the same quality of care for my Georgia clients via telemedicine and especially using doxy.me. I was able to ease the transition, both for myself and for my clients, via telemedicine.
Before finding doxy.me I used a couple of other teleconferencing/telemedicine platforms. One of them was very reliable with great quality video, but they wanted an extraordinary monthly fee to sign the BAA. Another company I used was unreliable; the video would regularly freeze or not work, and clients would have great difficulty signing in with their passwords. A third company was completely unreliable in terms of the video capabilities. I have had none of these problems with doxy.me. Clients find it easy and very low stress to sign on each session. No password to keep track of, and the reliability of the connection is excellent. On my side, doxy.me signed the BAA free of charge.
In addition, telemedicine enables me to work from home certain days and hours. The reduction in cost (no full time office) allows me to spend money in other areas like advertising/marketing so I can build my practice here in Colorado. My cat often joins the therapy session curled up on my lap which I find fun and relaxing.
My advice to anyone wanting to transition to telemedicine would be twofold: the first has to do with marketing, and the second with getting comfortable with being online. When I first left Georgia, my conversion rate decreased. People would call but then be surprised I could only see them online. I finally realized I needed to be very clear in my Georgia marketing about that fact that I am online only for Georgia clients. Now, when people call, they already know and are sighing up for online work.
In addition, I’ve spoken with many therapists who feel like they can’t really do couples therapy online. They say it seems like it’d be too distant feeling or disconnected. I believe this can be worked through. I believe the problem is our own adjustment to the new medium. The more I have relaxed and grown confident in the online work, the more comfortable I feel…just like I’m “in the room” with them. The vast majority of clients who experience the online counseling, both couples and individuals, don’t have the problem of not feeling relaxed or close with me. Many of my new in office clients have switched to online work because the convenience factor is so great.