Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Patient Care in Mental Health Services

Explore the impact of technology on counselling and psychotherapy. Discover the pros and cons of using online platforms, from finding clients to ensuring data protection. Learn how to leverage modern tools while safeguarding your clients' privacy. Read more to navigate the digital landscape effectively.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Patient Care in Mental Health Services

Building the right tech stack is key

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How to choose the right tech stack for your company?

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What to consider when choosing the right tech stack?

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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What tech stack do we use at Techly X?

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Counselling and Psychotherapy has been around for over 100 years, but the world of technology and the internet might still feel very new, and is constantly changing and evolving.

Technology, social media and AI bring many benefits and opportunities, but also their drawbacks. In our clinical work, we often see the impact that social media can have, especially on young people. We are the most connected generation ever, but paradoxically the most isolated and alone.

Understanding the power of technology within our clinical practice is important, both to find the advantages that can make us successful and help more clients, as well as the potential pitfalls.

Here’s a list of Pros and Cons that we’ve made specifically for UK therapists:

Pro: Finding more clients in private practice

Many counsellors in the UK advertise their work through a variety of sources, most commonly directory websites such as Counselling Directory, Psychology Today and the BACP Register. These generally cost around £20 per month, and clients often find that these websites are top of the list when using search engines such as Google. Clients then scroll through dozens of therapist profile listings, and hopefully find ours and decide to contact us.

This is a great and efficient way to reach clients for a relatively low cost, however there are also many other online options out there, including reaching clients more organically through social media including Facebook, Google for Business, Instagram, TikTok and Reddit. Many of these systems can be automated, and various service providers out there can help you create and advertise content for a small fee.

Con: Trying to stand out amongst the crowd

The reverse is also try when it comes to marketing as a therapist. There are over 60,000 registered counsellors in the UK, with increasing numbers being driven to private practice by poor working conditions and pay within public and third sector organisations. This means that the internet is awash with counsellors advertising their services, and it can be very difficult to try and stand out.

That’s why it can be useful to try and find your own niche, and market yourself to a particular client type and make yourself stand out. Are you from a demographic not normally represented within counselling? Do you have particular life experiences or work with particular client issues? Could you find a way to turn this instead into a unique selling point (USP)?

Pro: Using online platforms to reduce admin time and save money

As mental health awareness increases, so does the mental health sector in response to that demand. That includes increasing interest, research and development from the tech world as they search for ways to find efficiencies, disrupt old ways of working, and discover new and better ways of working.

Konfidens is one such platform that is new to the UK mental health space. Specifically designed for therapists in private practice or working together in clinics, Konfidens is an online system that gives clients an app-like experience to be able to book and pay for sessions self-service. That greatly reduces the admin time needed for the therapist, as well as gives a single, secure online space to store client contact information and session notes. It means having more time to help people and less time replying to text messages or chasing payments. It’s also far cheaper than other platforms out there.

Con: Avoiding platforms that don’t protect client data

Unfortunately, not all platforms have the same ethical standards or comply with UK data laws. It’s crucially important to check that online platforms offering services for mental health clinics are doing their job properly, and aren’t secretly selling client data, or aren’t secure for the client in case somebody accesses their phone without their consent.

Konfidens is a Norwegian-based company that prides itself in being fully compliant with both UK and EU data protection rules. They are fully GDPR and ICO compliant, and clients are protected through the app system that is both password protected and requires a One Time Access code to be sent to their phone. This means both you and clients have peace of mind that their data and privacy are being properly protected. You can view Konfidens’ Privacy Policy here and Data Processing Agreement here.

Tom is a Person-Centred Psychotherapist and Managing Director of The Empathy Project CIC. A Registered Member of the BACP, Tom specialises in working with depression and trauma, having started his clinical work with young people during Covid-19. 

The Empathy Project is a non-profit community interest company supporting people through low-cost, long-term counselling. They also run a series of CPD workshops for therapists with all proceeds supporting the project. You can find their website here: www.empathyproject.org.uk

Managing Director of The Empathy Project CIC

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