What 2020 Has Taught Us About Running a Virtual Private Practice - Owl Practice Blog

What 2020 Has Taught Us About Running a Virtual Private Practice

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Do you run your private practice differently today than you did at the beginning of the year?

From shutdowns to masks to social distancing restrictions, everyone needed to make some big changes in 2020. Thanks to the pandemic, small businesses like private mental health practices were forced to close their doors early in the year, and it took a lot of hard work for these practices to eventually open themselves up to clients again. Now almost a year later, private practices have turned almost entirely virtual, offering their formerly in-person-only services to clients online.

Though this transition hasn’t been easy, we’ve been there for mental health practitioners across the country every step of the way. Here are some of the changes that 2020 has brought to the industry and the lessons we learned over the last ten months:

Video Therapy

If we had to pick the biggest shakeup in the mental health industry this past year, it would be the rise of video therapy.

Before the pandemic happened, video therapy was only used in the most extreme of circumstances. The vast majority of sessions were held in-office.

But then COVID-19 hit, and mental health practices around the country needed to close their doors. Around this time, Zoom rose to become the leader in video conferencing, but there were several reasons why it wasn’t the right platform for mental health practices.

In the beginning, Zoom’s security wasn’t up to task. There were stories of random strangers popping into Zoom meetings—obviously, this isn’t wanted in any video conference call, but it is utterly unacceptable if you’re in the middle of a private mental health session.

Fortunately, Owl Practice came to the rescue. We were working on our Video Therapy solution for a while pre-pandemic, which meant that we were ready to roll out the feature to mental health professionals ASAP. Since then, Video Therapy has only been getting better and better! Not only do we run the service through our Toronto data centres—so you don’t have to worry about foreign interference—but all conversations are fully-encrypted to ensure secure communication between you and your clients.

On top of that, you’re not limited to one-on-one sessions when you use Video Therapy—you can also host couples, families, and groups. As long as your clients have a support device such as any modern laptop, smartphone, or tablet, as well as a secure internet connection, you can seamlessly work Video Therapy into your practice!

Managing a Virtual Office

One of the biggest challenges that mental health practices faced in early 2020 was office management. Is it even possible to run a successful practice when you aren’t allowed to use your physical space? Turns out, it absolutely is possible… so long as you have the right tools.

The beauty of Owl Practice is that it’s cloud-based. If you have an internet connection and a compatible device, you can access almost every aspect of your practice from anywhere in the world—including your home office. That means if you need to reschedule a client’s session, you can hop on your phone and do it instantly. Need to send out an invoice? Grab your iPad, and you can fire it off from the couch. And if you are sitting down to do some real work—or seeing a client via Video Therapy—Owl will be waiting for you on your laptop or desktop in your home office.

And that doesn’t only go for you. If you have staff members who take care of the administrative aspects of your practice, they can do everything virtually using the same Owl Practice tools available to you. With Owl’s help, you can run your mental health practice from anywhere, without COVID-19 getting in the way!

Finding a Therapist is Tricky

Countless people forego mental health assistance because finding a therapist can be such an incredible hassle. Even before the pandemic, there were so many hurdles to finding a mental health professional that was the right fit. Enter TherapyOwl.

With TherapyOwl, potential clients can use this directory to find the perfect match with a mental health professional. All they need to do is key in their location and start browsing therapists’ profiles close to them. Even better, TherapyOwl is entirely free for both potential clients AND providers! It’s simply an invaluable tool for mental health professionals.

The pandemic has dramatically changed how mental health practices offer their services, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide the same quality of support that you could pre-COVID. With the assistance of Owl Practice, you can run your practice virtually, with a higher level of security, collaboration, and efficiency than ever before!

If you’d like to experience everything that Owl Practice has to offer, we invite you to book a 14-day free trial or demo today. And if you have any questions or comments about our services, including our Video Therapy feature, please contact us at support@owlpractice.ca. Trying Owl Practice for free is one of the best possible ways to start the new year!

As Always,

Practice Wisely

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