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Digital Seminar

Maximize Telehealth: Tapping into Your Clients World to Improve Therapeutic Outcomes

Shari Murgittroyd, LMSW
1 Hour 28 Minutes
Jun 30, 2020
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Digital Seminar
Never expires.


The apprehension of using telepsychotherapy, for both the therapist and client, is often led by fear and can even evoke anxiety. But, as daunting as teletherapy seems—the great news—the benefits easily outweigh the downsides!

Seeing clients in their natural environment allows you to tap into their world in a meaningful and unique way that you might not otherwise get.

With this recording, you will learn to skillfully use telehealth to gain greater insight into your clients’ lives to improve therapeutic outcomes. Using a biopsychosocial lens, you will learn concrete strategies to build strong rapport and strengthen therapeutic relationships with clients. Learn how to adeptly:

  • Build trust and respect even before the first virtual session
  • Observe client’s behaviour and interactions in their environment
  • Use household items and the culture as an intervention
  • Enrich data collection for assessments and case conceptualization
  • Creatively tailor treatment interventions


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Shari Murgittroyd, LMSW's Profile

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North Star Wellness Center LLC

SHARI MURGITTROYD, LMSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and has vast experience providing mental health services, crisis intervention, and trauma therapy; she gives special attention to inclusivity and serving oppressed or marginalized populations. She is certified in culturally-competent and racially-responsive counseling and facilitates ongoing trainings to human service providers and first responders. Shari is the co-founder and Director of Training and Education at North Star Wellness Center in Lansing, Michigan. She is serves as adjunct faculty for Michigan State University (MSU) teaching about power and privilege, and is a trainer for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) with a curriculum that addresses implicit bias.

Training, education and program evaluation have been an integral part of her career. Shari worked in the MSU Counseling Center and served as Coordinator of the MSU Sexual Assault Program from 2005 to 2015. She was a participant in the Multi-Ethnic Counseling Center Alliance for 10 years and studied the impact of racism and other forms of oppression during that tenure. Before that, Shari was employed at the Michigan Public Health Institute conducting research and facilitating training and technical assistance. In that capacity, she worked with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes throughout the country, and victim service agencies in the state of Michigan.

Shari earned a Bachelors in Public Policy & Health with minors in Health & Humanities and Women’s Studies. She went on to complete a Masters in Social Work Program Evaluation & Administration. Shari is passionate about human rights, cultural change, the Great Lakes and belly laughs.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Shari Murgittroyd is co-founder and director of training and education at North Star Wellness Center, LLC. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Shari Murgittroyd has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


  1. Demonstrate creative ways to build rapport and strengthen the therapeutic relationship while using a telemedicine platform.
  2. Analyze key information during telehealth visits that can enrich data collection for assessments and case conceptualization. 
  3. Develop new effective clinical interventions that can be used in teletherapy.


Build Rapport and Enhance Therapeutic Relationships with New and Existing Clients
  • Strategies that build trust and respect before the first virtual session
  • Role modelling vulnerability and disclosing: Letting clients into your world
  • Address fears/concerns: Get buy-in from established and new clients
  • Confidentiality issues and appropriate consent forms
Skillfully Navigate Telehealth Session to Assess Client’s Environment
  • Enrich data collection for assessments and case conceptualization
  • Observe client’s behaviour in their environment
  • Bring awareness to the client’s biopsychosocial experience
  • Assess family dynamics and background activities
  • Utilize household items and the culture as an intervention
Tap into Client’s World to Creatively Tailor Treatment Interventions
  • Get to know your client’s household and environment
  • Self-care and stress reduction strategies and activities
  • Guided imagery/meditation podcasts and videos “must haves”
  • Mindfulness apps 
  • When and how to incorporate client’s pets in session
  • Take it outside! Gardens and outside spaces
  • Art activities for creative mental health outlets 
  • Build self-esteem through music, musical instruments, singing and dancing 
  • Establish better sleeping environment and bedtime routines

Target Audience

  • Addiction Professionals
  • Case Managers
  • Dieticians
  • Licensed Clinical/Mental Health Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel

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