The last few days of September were filled with much anticipation as arrangements were finalized by the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) for a keynote and two workshops to be offered by the TeleMental Health Institute’s Dr. Maheu in Calgary, Alberta Canada. The College is the regulatory board for the Canadian province of Alberta. They contracted with TMHI months ago to have her speak at their “2016 CAP Annual Meeting and Professional Development Day,” where more than 180 psychologists from Alberta, British Columbia and other Canadian provinces converged to spend a day discussing legal and ethical issues related to using videoconferencing, email, text messaging, social media and a host of newer technologies for clinical practice.
Telemental Health Competencies Addressed for College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP)
Titles of Dr. Maheu’s presentations were focused on telemental health competencies, and divided into these topics:
- Telepsychology Keynote Address: Psychology at the Technology Crossroads
- Telepsychology Best Practices: Dos and Dont’s
- Social Media for Clinical Psychologists
The room was buzzing with excitement before the program started. The audience was hopping with questions throughout the day. Attending psychologists were eager to learn the nuances of how, when and with which technology they could deliver a wide variety of services, especially to clients and patients who live in rural and frontier areas. Being of Canadian decent herself, Dr. Maheu greatly enjoyed the interactions with her Canadian colleagues, and learned about several specific challenges that they planned to address with technology, such as reaching immigrants who are deeply isolated within religious communities in the heart of their own cities, the harsh realities and pervasive needs created by living on the frontier in oil and mining communities with high incidences of alcohol use, and the desire by some Canadian psychologists to maximize the automation of their practices and billing processes to minimize their need for paperwork and maximize their clinical effectiveness.
Dr. Maheu explained, “This group’s warmth and hospitality were even stronger than their interest in my topics — making for a wonderfully powerful elixer that is sure to lead to an immediate agreement for a return visit!”
To make the experience even better, CAP gave Dr. Maheu and her accompanying spouse wonderful gifts of warm hats, scarves and gloves to keep them warm in the mountains. Several CAP members also went out of their way to give Dr. Maheu many insider tips on where to explore during the next week in the adjoining Canadian Rockies. Perfectly timed by CAP to highlight the changing of autumn leaves in the mountains, Banff National Park, Lake Louise and many other breathtaking sites proved to offer vistas and joys that were unsurpassed.
Subsequent feedback from the leadership of the College of Alberta Psychologists about the day’s program can be seen below.
We as a College were in search of a keynote speaker for our Annual Professional Development Day with expertise in telepsychology and social media for psychologists. Dr. Maheu’s name came with glowing recommendations for her depth of knowledge, proven experience, and dynamic presentation skills. She did not disappoint. The associated materials and references were based on considerable and current research. Not unexpectedly the response to Dr. Maheu’s presentations from our attendees was overwhelmingly positive.
Aaron Block, M.Ed., R. Psych.
Assistant Deputy Registrar and Director of Professional Guidance
College of Alberta Psychologists