By Julia W.
Technology or bust! This is something we have all been forced to accept. As much as we would love to preserve traditional ways of doing things, we have to admit that technology makes things easier and faster. And with all the complications of life, we certainly need to save valuable time by doing things faster.
The psychotherapy profession has not been spared either. “How can you introduce technology to therapy? You just need an office and couches to practice, right?” Not necessarily. Although that’s not far from the truth, there are apps and gadgets that you can introduce to your practice that will make life easier for you.
In this post, we list a couple of gadgets which we think are essential for your private practice, whether you’re just starting out or already established.
First on the list is a good laptop. Laptops, like cellphones are like mini offices these days. A good laptop can help you with filing, No more using filing cabinets where client information security isn’t guaranteed. A good laptop with good security can serve as a filing cabinet thanks to cloud-based storage. You can also use it for note taking, marketing, networking, teletherapy, social media management, etc. Pick one that has at least 16 GB of RAM and a sizable hard drive for faster usage and space to store your work information.
Don’t you just love the convenience that is the mobile phone? It doesn’t matter if its an iphone or an Android, as long as its powerful enough enough to run multiple applications like all of your social media sites, Evernote, Full Slate, Dropbox, your calendar, and other apps effectively. This will ensure that you are connected on the go and will never miss a notification or email.
White Noise Machine
Confidentiality in therapy is key. You don’t want clients sitting in the common area and passers-by hearing every conversation you’re having with your client in your office. For one, you will lose the clients waiting to see you, and for another, you have exposed your current client’s information to everyone within hearing.
And here’s where the white noise machine comes in. There are various brands on the market. Some affordable and some, to be frank, overpriced. This simple gadget helps mask voices so that no one can overhear your conversations from the outside. Some machines have different background noises, which enables you to select the sound of your choice.
And not just any shredder, a shredder that shreds everything to dust. It was recently discovered that some shredders should not be used by therapists because of their ineffectiveness. You could think that that file or document you got rid of is gone, but it isn’t. It only takes a person with a lot of time on their hands, or one who enjoys puzzling to reconstruct that paper and access that information.
Most counselors advise you should get a micro-cut shredder which does a better job compared to strip cut ones, which might leave parts of the document exposed.
Activity tracking watch
Activity tracking watches like Fitbits and many other brands are becoming increasingly popular these days and for good reason. Some can monitor your heart rate, remind you to hydrate, count your steps, tell you how many calories you need to burn, etc. The main feature we are after however, is the alarm/ timer feature. It’s still important to have a wall clock,but the watches are helpful too.
You don’t want to keep glancing at the clock while your client pours their heart to you. You can set a timer on your watch or an alarm and it will alert you when your session is almost over using a subtle vibrate that only you will feel. This will give you a chance to start winding up the session without making your client feel interrupted.
Using these gadgets will help you reduce the stresses that come with running your private practice. If you haven’t already, check out our ‘Best apps to run my Private Practice‘ article where we also give you a list of applications/systems that could help you run your private practice more efficiently.