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

  • Should Counselors Solicit Testimonials on the World Wide Web?

    Jul 23, 2009
    Many directories are available online for professionals to list services. Many counselors in private practice create profiles in directories such as the most popular offered by Psychology Today. What about using websites like and to list one’s services and additionally, provide a forum for ongoing client testimonials? A counselor can create a profile to such a site allowing current and former clients the opportunity to rate the counselor and give feedback. I use sites like when I travel so that I can see ratings for hotels and restaurants. So what is wrong with a consumer logging on to Yelp, Kudzu or another similar site and choosing a potential counselor based on the counselor’s Five Star rating and client feedback? Even though the counselor may not directly solicit the client for a testimonial, it seems like a slippery slope to me and I am not so sure I like the idea, frankly.
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  • Online Counselor Education- What Works and What Doesn’t?

    Jul 15, 2009
    I am sitting at the Newark airport about to board a flight to Atlanta, traveling south to conduct a Distance Credentialed Counselor 2-day training.  I sit here wondering about how many of us who train will continue to travel to teach and learn as we move into this technology-laden future. With more and more training and counselor education options available to us online, will the face-to-face higher education, workshop and conference experience become obsolete? I know many of us argue that there is great value in the in-person experience yet I see more and more of us opting for online options to fulfill our continuing education requirements or to pursue graduate and post-graduate studies.
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  • Listservs and Case Consultation- What About Confidentiality?

    Jul 09, 2009
    Are you a member of a listserv?  The most popular Listserv service is Yahoo Groups.  Various organizations and like-minded professionals often create listservs to communicate efficiently with one another.  Once a member, you can usually either opt to receive the emails as they come in or a digest of all of the posts at the end of the day. Many counselor listservs focus on providing a place to network, share resources, find potential referrals and talk about cases. Yes. That is correct…talk about cases. Said differently, counselors talk about their clients on listservs.
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  • Are You Watching United States of Tara? How About In Treatment?

    Jul 01, 2009
    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the surge in television shows that focus on mental health, treatment, therapy….? The other day I received a solicitous email about a new reality TV show that will feature two counselors who are related.  Yes I did.  The show is looking for counselors who are married or have some other relationship to be cast in the show.  The solicitation asked for a headshot, resume and bio.  Wow.  I could hardly finish reading the email before my head was just spinning with all of the ethical implications of THAT.
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  • Is it okay to “Google” your client?

    Jun 25, 2009
    So, let’s talk about this.  I read an article recently: Internet Social Media Present New Quandaries for Psychiatrists published May 15th in the Psychiatric Times ( Since then, I have had a couple of provocative discussions with workshop participants.  This article is geared toward psychiatrists, but clearly this is an issue that can crop up in our profession as well.
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