By The Provider Lead Team
Every Wednesday we gather in front of our computer screens to discuss the latest with Spring Connect, the official Spring Health provider community.
This past week, we spent less time on clinical leadership matters and more on relationship building. It’s great reinforcement for what we will do for the regional cohorts we lead. After all, as a Provider Lead team, we are geographically spread out across Connecticut, California, Minnesota, Georgia, and Washington.
Together, we created a list of questions and held a lively discussion. Here’s what we uncovered:
Q: Why did you decide to become a therapist?
Carlos: “If it weren’t for those who took an interest in me and helped me develop as an individual I wouldn’t be where I am today. So I decided to dedicate myself to helping others become the best versions of themselves.”
Merraf: “I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and how the human brain works. Since I can remember, people have always opened up to me, and it’s interesting to explore the many facets of the human experience.”
Q: What excites you about Spring Connect?
Jen: “I’m excited for the opportunity to provide a space for providers to grow professionally through case conferences and 1:1 consultations and allow our providers to connect with one another.”
Megan: “We’re a community of providers that not only are helping people, but we’re helping each other.”
Kate: “Rather than attempt to build a community to drive quality care in a smaller private practice of 10 to 15 therapists, the thought of being able to do that with hundreds and thousands of therapists is obviously very appealing.”
Q: Why did you take on this Provider Lead position?
Jen: “I have a diverse background in working with people within a therapeutic and science framework. I immediately felt as though taking on this role would allow me to combine those frameworks and access areas such as quality assurance, procedures and consultation.”
Megan: “I have experience working in non-profit, private practice, telehealth and higher education. This brings a lot of different perspectives into this new role I hope to use when working with our amazing provider community.”
Q: From your perspective, what do therapists need to keep in mind to best serve clients?
Merraf: “Two things: 1) Rapport is everything in therapy. Nothing, not even the most amazing interventions, can replace or outweigh the therapeutic relationship. 2) When psychology terms were initially created, they did not take race, ethnicity, and culture into consideration. I always ask my clients about their childhood, upbringing and family culture, and religious or spiritual beliefs. One of the questions I ask is ‘how would you like me to incorporate [xyz] into therapy?’ Asking questions and not making assumptions about your client’s experience is essential in, not only the therapeutic outcome, but also the heart of therapy: the therapeutic alliance.”
Carlos: “I don’t know that we appreciate how much society and culture shapes the ability of men to manage their emotions effectively. My cohort will allow space for folks to explore those emotions, whether they be males or females, who are interested in knowing more about how men come to be.”
Jen: ”When working with any client of any age whether it’s individual, group or family therapy your ability to build rapport quickly will allow for trust and connection . The therapeutic relationship you build from day one will impact treatment progress moving forward. For work with children and/or families specifically, it is important to acknowledge that the life experience of every single member of the family matters. The roles in which family of origin, culture, and parenting, for example, can all play a role in a child’s behavior is important. ”
Kate: “Perfectionism and achievement are part of the cultural values many Americans have, from the factory line worker to the CFO at a tech company. We know this can cause anxiety in our patients. And as therapists, we face the same internal pressures. This is an area of interest for me and we could pay a little more attention to how it impacts therapy.”
Megan: “As providers, we can advocate for our clients. One example is using clear documentation to communicate potential barriers for those who need workplace or school accommodations. Another example is working with blended families and the co-parenting relationship. Specifically, how providers can work on implementing custody agreements and court orders within the parenting sessions to strengthen the family dynamic.”
We are excited to launch Spring Connect and create an engaging space for providers to grow personally and professionally. Here’s to a continued dialogue.
Want to join Spring Connect?
If you are a mental health clinician and want to learn more about Spring Connect, fill out this interest form.
The Provider Lead Team:
Merraf Abel, MS, MPH, LMFT is the Provider Lead for Spring Connect’s Western Cohort
Megan Bohinc, PCC-S, LPC, MFT is the Provider Lead for Spring Connect’s Southeast Cohort
Jen Callen, LCSW is the Provider Lead for Spring Connect’s Midwest Cohort
Kate Murphy, LCSW is the Provider Lead for Spring Connect’s North and South West Cohort
Carlos Rivera, LCSW, MBA, MPH is the Provider Lead for Spring Connect’s Northeast Cohort