The Therapy Insights Podcast

The Therapy Insights Podcast offers tools and insights for SLPs, PTs/PTAs, and OTs/COTAs working with patients who are experiencing some of the most difficult medical challenges of their lives. In a poll of an interdisciplinary SLP/OT/PT Facebook forum, only about 30% of clinicians reported that they were provided with the opportunity to take a graduate level class focused on counseling techniques to address grief, trauma, and major life transitions.

Our goals for this podcast:

  • Broaden the scope of understanding by SLPs, PTs, PTAS, OTs, and COTAs of current best practices within the counseling community in order to optimize and strengthen the medical field as a whole when it comes to rehabilitation and mental health.
  • Encourage and promote specific strategies on how to improve access to professional mental health services within medical communities, including those that are rural, understaffed, or working within a system that has not yet embraced access to mental health services.
  • Address specific questions and scenarios as presented by members of the Therapy Insights community.

Links to episode pages with show notes

09: Doesn’t Want to Stay Here, Not Safe to Go Home with Emily LoPiccolo

In this episode, we explore the following (fictional) case study: Alejandro is a 55 yo male who was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 48. He was taken to the emergency room due to a fall in his home that resulted in mild head trauma as well as a broken wrist. A friend hadn’t heard from him in a couple of days and found him on the floor. After his acute stay in the hospital, he was taken to a post-acute care facility. While working with a team of speech, occupational, and physical therapists, the therapy team learns that he has no running water at home and that he uses a bucket for a toilet. He has a dog that he has been unable to get outside recently and so urine and feces has been collecting in the house. Alejandro is also worried about his dog and is wondering if anyone is taking care of him. When asked what he eats at home, it’s unclear if he has consistent access to food. He is quite private and is wary of others entering his home and is not willing to do a home eval. He wants to go home as soon as possible.

08: A System-Level Response to TBIs Among the Incarcerated Population with Risa Klemme and Mark Harniss

Until now, people who are incarcerated have not been screened for TBIs. We know that TBIs can cause changes in behavior and personality that can lead to incarceration, and once inside, make it more difficult to fully heal and functionally return to the community. The Washington Department of Corrections is one of the first, if not the first, state correctional agencies in the U.S. to implement a system-level response to TBIs among the incarcerated population. How did this happen? Through a persistent effort to build relationships, foster inter-agency collaboration, and a strong commitment to sustaining the mental health resources necessary to build and grow a program that supports a TBI screening program, cognitive skills training program, and peer mentoring program. This is a fascinating and deeply inspiring conversation with Risa Klemme, ADA compliance manager for the Department of Corrections, and Dr. Mark Harniss, Associate Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine, Director of the Center for Technology and Disability Studies, and Director of the UW Disability Studies Program. When people come together to change massive systems bit by bit, we all get collectively closer to our shared humanity. A heartfelt thank you to Risa and Dr. Harniss for their time and devotion, not only to this podcast episode, but to their legacy of collaboratively building the TBI program in the state of Washington.

07: TBI is a Marathon, Not a Sprint with Dennis Zgaljardic

Neuropsychologist Dr. Dennis J. Zgaljardic dissects 7 quotes (published on written by people who have survived brain injuries. From pace of progress, family dynamics, feelings of worthlessness, behavior plans, identity transformations, functional goals, anosognosia, confabulation, and "non-compliance," this episode has it all. Dr. Zgaljardic's experience in the realm of rehabilitation medicine offers wonderful insight into how speech, occupational, and physical therapists can fully engage within the complex dance of a therapist-client relationship within the context of traumatic brain injury.

06: Jessie Hillock and the Holistic Approach to Dementia Care

People with dementia generally do not have the insight or awareness to seek help from therapists. Often, it's family members who first attempt to reach out for help. And even though family members need significant support, they are often left out of traditional therapy models due to the nature of the healthcare system, including billing practices and insurance coverage. Join us as we explore Jessie Hillock's revolutionary practice of providing structured, holistic dementia coaching for families as well as therapeutic support for individuals as they collectively embark on the journey of living with a dementia diagnosis in their midst.

@thememorycompass |

05: Rich Temple and the Hidden Power of Listening

So often in healthcare settings, providers feel the need to dish out answers in response to diagnoses. But is this what patients actually need or want? Dr. Rich Temple is a neuropsychologist in the field of rehabilitation medicine. He believes that one of the best kept secrets in therapy is the power of not having all of the answers. Join us as we discuss how existing in a space of solving patients' problems for them actually thwarts patient-centered care. We also talk about how to truly listen and honor a patient's story and wishes, how to prevent burnout across a career, and how interdisciplinary collaboration and advocacy for integrated mental health services can lead to more impactful and holistic healthcare for all.

04: Katrina Mikiah and the Human Capacity for Presence

How do we as rehabilitation therapists hold space for those who are facing immense grief or life-altering/life-ending diagnoses? Katrina Mikiah is a life, grief, and end-of-life coach. She says that it's not about having a tricked out pack of counseling techniques, but rather much more about our own awareness of our feelings and our ability to be present. Join us as we discuss the difference between a counselor and a coach, the many ways to hold space and be present, and the tools we can offer clients and families to make these kinds of transitions less turbulent and more in line with their life goals and wishes.

03: Josh Rubin, James Laskin, and the Learning Health System

What would it look like if, as a healthcare system, we were able to draw from data points from real experiences of real people around the world? What if we could magnify the power of existing medical research methods by incorporating a broader range of people, experiences, and perspectives, including those of practicing clinicians? One of the biggest challenges we face is bridging the gap between clinical research and clinical practice. The concept of the learning health system is not one magical platform that offers to solve this problem, but rather it is a way of thinking, of collaborating, and of experiencing the world that has the potential to radically transform healthcare.

02: Andrew Hill and the Person Behind the Brain Injury

How do we connect with people who have a brain injury? How do we not let our therapy devolve into power struggles? How do we help improve insight without crushing people’s hope? To explore these questions today, we’re talking with Andrew Hill.


01: Chris Clasby and the Dignity of Risk

In this episode, we speak with Chris Clasby, LCSW and Peer Advocacy Coordinator at Summit Independent Living in Missoula, Montana. Our conversation touches on what it means to be human, what it means to suffer, and how to find meaning in that suffering. Chris also touches on 2 valuable tips for clinicians- allowing patients to fully experience their emotions and allowing patients the dignity of risk. We also discuss the federally mandated independent living centers spread across the U.S. and how these centers can provide invaluable resources for patients as they transition through different levels of care.



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