We have the pleasure of introducing Alice Witt as our Provider of the Month for December and we could not be more pleased to have you virtually meet her! We’ve known Alice as a customer for about a year and finally had the pleasure of meeting both her and her husband “in person” at the AACC conference in Nashville earlier this fall. We enjoyed the conversations and feedback Alice gave us about features she’d like to see and how she uses thera-LINK to meet with clients! We hope you’ll find her interview below as genuine as we did when we first read it. Without further adieu, we present Alice Witt from California!
- What is your name and the name of your practice? How long have you been in practice?
My name and practice name are the same: Alice E. Witt, LCSW. I’ve been practicing for 15 years and in private practice since 2011.
- What do you do for fun? What hobbies do you do? Tell us about you outside of your “provider” role. 🙂
I have 5 adult children ages 30, 29, 27, 25 and 22. Spending time with them is one of my greatest joys. My husband and I are celebrating 35 yrs of marriage in 2018. Together we enjoy travel, reading, ballroom dancing, and teaching (bible, and Cloud /Townsend material). I’m an avid reader of just about anything, and I really have fun cooking and entertaining.
- Where do you practice (state, etc..) and what areas do you specialize in?
I practice in California. One day a week I’m in a physical office in Fresno. I do a lot of work in Recovery (all kinds of hurts and habits not just substance abuse and co-dependency) and then of course tend to see many who struggle with anxiety and depression. I love working with people of all ages but really get a kick out of working with younger adults and couples. That said, I feel I “woke up” late in life so feel there is always hope no matter what age we are when we seek help.
- Why did you go into your profession?
I started out as a music therapist in the early 1980’s. I have a brother with an intellectual disability with whom I’ve always been close. So, I chose a career that would enable me to work with people with disabilities. Once I began my career in MT I realized I needed more skill to help the people I wanted to help so I went to graduate school and fell in love with counseling.
- What are you passionate about in your practice?
This is a hard question because I feel passionate about so much in my profession. Lately, I think attachment theory, cognitive restructuring, boundaries, and interpersonal neurobiology. I love instilling hope that change is possible when we are willing to do the hard work for personal growth. Mostly, I’m passionate about helping people connect to their faith to see real and lasting change in their lives.
- How long have you been doing online sessions with your clients?
I’ve been doing online sessions with clients for about 5 years (including phone sessions when needed).
- Why did you start using thera-LINK to see clients?
I started using thera-LINK in the summer of 2016 because my husband and I moved to a new town and many of my clients wanted to continue working with me. After getting certified through the Telebehavioral Health Institute for on-line (video and phone) counseling, I searched for a service that would meet my standards for excellence. Thera-link was the best service I could find.
Do your clients find that online sessions offer them similar results as coming in to an office? Do they prefer online sessions or in office? Was it a difficult adjustment for them?
The feedback I’ve received so far from my clients is that the results are the same or better. Those who are initially hesitant become attached to the ease and convenience after a few sessions. A few, who are less savvy with technology, have struggled at first. It’s like learning to read a book on an e-reader. Once you begin, you forget the technology.
- What would you tell someone just starting out with an online option for their clients? Any tips/tricks or things you’ve learned along the way?
I think taking the courses for certification were invaluable and so would recommend the certification to anyone just starting out. When I explain to first time callers that I do telebehavioral health, I work hard at sounding enthusiastic about the option rather than apologetic. Enthusiasm is contagious.
- Where do you work from mostly? (i.e. home office, beach :), actual office where you see clients in person as well?)
I work mostly from home (75% from home 25% in person) and am aiming to work 100% from home.
- Did you purchase any new equipment when you embarked in an online practice? Either way, what do you use for your sessions? (i.e. laptop/tablet, webcam, headset, big monitor)
I did not purchase any new equipment. I use my MacBook Pro entirely and love the convenience of working from wherever I have wifi and privacy.
- Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I’m an avid supporter of thera-LINK because of the quality of the product, the responsiveness of the staff, and the continuing upgrade of the product and services provided.
Also, I believe in learning so have taken Gottman trainings, Cloud-Townsend Counselor training, and have obtained certificates in Telebehavioral Health, Healthy Sexuality, Recovery, Sexual Addiction, and many other programs offered through the American Association of Christian Counselors. I’m also a member of the Newlife Counseling Network.
If you are interested in connecting with Alice, please read more about her on her profile page here: Alice's Profile