Veronica (“Ronnie”) McEntee, LCSW, is a Teletherapist at MySpectrum. Ronnie initially joined MySpectrum as an Outpatient Therapist working in our office. She has now fully transitioned to working solely as a Teletherapist with MySpectrum because the experience has been so enjoyable, for both herself and her clients. Ronnie is putting her credential as a Certified Telebehavioral Health Professional to great use. Read how Ronnie gets “real” through Teletherapy.
“When I think of Teletherapy I actually think of what it was like for me to do outreach – to do community mental health work. Before I did Teletherapy, I would provide mental health support to people in the community by going directly into their homes. This provided me with an opportunity to see people in their homes and that really broke down barriers. I believe that the most important part of therapy is the relationship. When I would go to see people in their homes it gave me a more complete view of what their situation was like. You get to see glimpses of their life as you see their surroundings or a family member pops in. You get to see if they’ve hoarded things or if they are meticulously orderly. It is just more intimate to see someone in their own environment. To the surprise of some, that’s how I look at Teletherapy. The platform serves as a window into the world of the client and by extension to a personalization that you don’t get in the office, and that helps the therapeutic relationship. By contrast, when folks come into the office I think I’m getting a prepared version of them. They’re usually in their best clothes and on their best behavior. With Teletherapy I can actually get to know you better.
One example of this that I can speak about is with one of my younger clients. During the course of a regular Teletherapy session I noticed a Harry Potter poster on the wall of her bedroom. I asked about what the poster meant and she explained to me at length which wizard “house” she was in and what that meant about her personality. Not only did this allow me to get to know her in a more personal and informal way, but I really don’t think we would have ended up talking about her interest and personality like this during an in-office session.
Another beautiful example of the way this works is when clients want to show me something that they’re proud of or happy about that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to show me during an in-office session. I have one client in particular who will meet with me for Teletherapy sessions from her car and always starts the session with her cute toddler on her lap! In other instances, and this certainly wouldn’t happen in-office, clients are happy to have pets with them while they meet with me. Again, it’s just so much more intimate at times.
I think these personal moments that I have with my clients during sessions are part of the reason that they have all decided to stick with the format. When the pandemic started and Virginia had its shelter-in-place order, I knew that I would do well to shift my clients to Teletherapy. There was hesitation from some, but now everyone who switched over has requested to meet with me through the option permanently. It makes me happy because I get to build strong relationships with my clients and they get to have therapy in settings that are the most comfortable for them.”
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Ronnie for yourself or your child, please give us a call: 804-924-2236. Ronnie’s bio can also be found here.