Sign in

S2 Ep3 — Moving a Full Clinic to a New State with Teletherapy

In this episode of Telehealth Heroes, we talk to one of the early users of, Psychologist Dr. Rees Chapman. He talks about the skype call that convinced him telemedicine might work and then changing states while keeping a full clinic of patients.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Chapman is a clinical psychologist who practices psychotherapy and teletherapy. However, back in 2015 when he and his wife lived in Georgia and he only saw clients face-to-face, he believed telemedicine was an impossibility for his own practice. He said:

A lot of people are doing therapy, and I don’t really do that. My approach is much more client-based… [My approach] looks at facial expressions and developing an interpersonal rapport. The relationship, the interaction in the room is critically important. And that’s the reason why I was opposed to the very idea of teletherapy for many years.

So what changed? In 2016, Dr. Chapman and his wife decided to move to Virginia. Several of his clients asked him if he would switch to teletherapy so they could continue seeing him, but he continued to doubt the merits of telemedicine. However, everything changed when he had a skype call with his son and grandkids:

I was resisting [practicing teletherapy] until I had a skype session with my son and daughter-in-law and kids, they were going to Richmond. And at the end of that session, I was gasping for breath. I’d been crying. I had had a really powerful, emotional experience. And I said to my wife, you know, maybe something really does travel through the internet. Maybe there really is emotional validity.

So, he started practicing teletherapy in Georgia, then moved it with him to Virginia. For a long time Dr. Chapman had been preparing to travel to Virginia and to make new clients and a new practice there, but through telemedicine, he actually arrived with a full caseload of Georgia patients.

Later on, Dr. Chapman joined another clinic. He was there when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and found his colleagues worrying about telemedicine. He told them about, and shared with them the tips he’d learned through his years of experience to improve the quality of video care. The clinic was up and running through telehealth in no time.

Listen on Spotify