DeeAnna Merz Nagel

DeeAnna Merz-Nagel is a clinical counselor, teacher, workshop presenter, sat on the ACA Cyber Technology Taskforce, and is co-founder of the Online Therapy Institute

  • How Long is Too Long in the Front Lines?

    Sep 10, 2009
    I recently had a conversation with a colleague who said she just couldn’t find her “calling.” She is a counselor and she knows she was led to help people but she feels she is called to deeply fulfill her vocation- she just doesn’t know what or how. She told me about her jobs (plural). One of her jobs is as a counselor at a juvenile detention center. She said she knows she helps her clients. And then with pause she said, “But the work environment is toxic.” And I knew exactly what she meant. Having worked in various settings over the years- many of which were crisis-oriented settings, I could relate. As I dealt with the concerns and needs of my clients I often had to deal with the negative attitudes of burnt out staff people who had seen way too many lives torn apart by abuse, neglect, poverty, disaster, illness and death.
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  • Online Therapy: Moving Into Mainstream?

    Sep 03, 2009
    Last week I was interviewed by the Stars and Stripes regarding online counseling and the article entitled Tricare Programs Offer Online Counseling posted today. Some of you may know that Tricare is offering online services now with a pilot program called TRIAP in which military and their family members can obtain assistance online via webcam. The military has also launched services through Tricare using a platform developed by American Well for behavioral telehealth services including the ability to prescribe.
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  • What is Important to You?

    Aug 19, 2009
    The ACA Weblog has been up for several weeks and we the bloggers seem to offer a nice balance and contrast to each other. But I am wondering, what do you want to read about? What is important to you and what would draw you here on a regular basis? Do you check in on the ACA Weblog when you think about it or do you subscribe to the RSS feed? Do you follow CounselingViews on Twitter ( As an avid blogger and tweeter myself, I would like to hear what draws you here and frankly, what you do not find interesting as well.
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  • Using Technology With Clients Outside the Scheduled Session

    Aug 09, 2009
    How many of your clients email, text message or call your cell phone to make, change or cancel an appointment? Do your clients call your cell when they are experiencing an emotional crisis? The ACA Code of Ethics says that we should use encryption when emailing clients with the exception of housekeeping issues like appointment setting and the like. But what about emailing your client an article or a homework assignment between sessions? What if your client can’t make it to the scheduled appointment so you check in by phone? I am posing these different questions because we need to be aware of maintaining confidentiality with our clients when using technology. I am not just talking about counselors who conduct online counseling, but I am also talking about the counselor who has incorporated technology into their work life without realizing some of the pitfalls in doing so.
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  • Job stability- What are you doing to keep yours?

    Aug 03, 2009
    By “job”, I refer to anything you do to produce income. If you work in state or federally funded agency you have probably seen massive budget cuts. I assume that goes for university, college and school settings. Oh, and non-profits? I guess they may have had some budget cuts too. I would imagine even faith-based organizations are feeling the pinch. I saw a “For Sale” sign in front of a church in my local community recently. If you are in private practice, how is managed care working for you? Are you embracing insurance panels or trying to get off panels? And what about EAP work? I am hearing a lot about “multiple streams of revenue.” Diversifying one’s practice with counseling and consulting services is becoming common. Even adding a product line such as CDs, e-books and free downloads is popular. Everyone is trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the curve while preserving the integrity of our work.
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