LCSW, Chris, shares why he’s passionate about helping people improve their mental health and how virtual therapy can shift the negative stigma around mental illness.
What’s your background? What did you do before practicing telemedicine?
My name is Christopher and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have been practicing for the last 10 years. I started my career working with children and teens with autism as a behavioral interventionist advocating for them in school environments and training parents how to support them more effectively in the home.
I then decided to get my master’s degree in clinical social work and expand my knowledge of evidence-based theories. I specialize in helping parents, youth, college students (undergraduate, graduate, & Ph.D.), and adults learn to manage emotional stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, Trauma, and LGBTQ+ issues.
What’s your life like outside of work?
I reside in Santa Monica, California. I enjoy spending time with friends, cuddling with my dogs, going to the beach, relaxing by the pool, going to Spain to visit family, traveling and learning about other countries, creating educational and dance videos with my 12-year-old daughter, fine dining, exercising, meditating, reading, listening to comical podcasts and music, TikTok dancing, watching Netflix and HBO Max, creating mental health social media, and making healthy mocktails.
What brought you to virtual care?
I always worked in social services and was frustrated that the technology was often old. When the pandemic happened, I needed to interact with clients digitally.
I wanted to provide the best virtual care for my clients, so I decided to get trained in telehealth and started collaborating with research with digital health organizations. I was excited to share my positive experiences with clients that later led to me getting a job offer with a telehealth company. I was amazed to learn that I could support people and improve their mental health within 8-weeks through email, texts, phone, and video conferencing.
What’s your Wheel Moment of Freedom?
Working in social services, I often brought the stress from the workday home. Working remotely, I can say that I don’t experience work stress. I realized that I manage my emotions more effectively, am more present in my child’s interests, enjoy time with my family and friends, can be more creative, can enjoy professional development courses, and have time to practice my style of mindfulness.
What do you think the future of healthcare holds?
The future of digital mental health is exciting to me because I feel it is a system that not only thinks about quality care for clients, but also for the mental health workers providing services.
In my experience and opinion, clients seem to be more open and honest in therapy sessions when they are in the safety and comfort of their own home. People from all socio-economic backgrounds and cultures are being exposed to digital mental health care at a fast rate, giving them more autonomy and privacy over their treatment, and shifting the negative stigma about mental illness.
Thanks, Chris, for being an essential member of the #WheelCareTeam!
Interested in joining our team of virtual care clinicians? Learn more about working in telehealth with Wheel.
Discover more clinician experiences in our previous Care Team spotlight interviews with a family NP on taking the leap to full-time telemedicine, an NP on why joining Wheel has been her best career decision, and an APRN on why she practices in virtual care.