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Teletherapy, therapy using a web-based platform, is being used across the country and internationally to help address the therapy shortage. Parents and schools are using teletherapy to access skilled therapists in their schools or homes by just a click of a link.

DotCom Therapy® is one of the companies that is working to address the shortage and the needs of military schools and families around the country. DotCom Therapy was founded by two Speech-Language Pathologists two years ago and has recently expanded from only providing skilled speech therapy services to also providing occupational therapy and mental health services in schools and homes nationwide. We interviewed Emily Olsen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for DotCom Therapy, to gain insight on this innovative therapy modality.

Describe your current role.
I provide individual and group counseling along with mental health services to elementary through high school students in a school district that has a large military family population, and has one of their schools on the army base.

What’s your favorite part of your current job?
I LOVE working with students. It is so fun to work with a first grader and use my imagination and help her navigate through some of the tough emotions she deals with and then work with a high school student who needs help managing and expressing his anger in a healthy way. It is a special time during their day to step away from their peers and teachers, and just spend time talking and working things out. It is so rewarding!

Tell us about experiences you have had working with military families.
I often interact with families who have moved a lot, which has helped them to be adaptable, resilient and disciplined. These students often are very self aware, understand the importance of family, and have a strong community network to rely on.

How did you come to work with military families?
I had my first interaction with military families about 12 years ago when a relative of mine was serving in the Army. I learned during that time how strong these families are. I then went to work professionally with military families in my role as a Social Worker for Dotcom Therapy.  It seems that military families have their biological families and then also their extended families of circumstance (being bonded by their involvement with the military).  I believe that the support network for military families is unmatched.

From your experience, how are military families similar and different from other types of families? How do you change your practice between families?
I know that when I see a student who comes from a military family there will be additional challenges that this student will have most likely faced at their young age (i.e., deployment of a loved one, frequent moves to new posts/schools/churches, and uncertainty of their future). I also know that these students will have many strengths including: adaptability, resilience, strong community support, self-awareness, and advanced maturity in some cases. When working with all families, military or civilian, it is important to remember to not enter into the therapeutic relationship with preconceived notions; it is my job to let these families and students teach me about themselves. They have their own unique story, struggles and strengths, and that is where I need to start.

As providers, how can we support military parents who are deployed or away frequently due to trainings/school?  
From my standpoint in my role, I like to communicate with family members however is easiest and works best for them. I am flexible in knowing that communication may not always be easy or consistent due to the work they do, but it does not mean that family members do not want to know how their child is doing. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to keep those communication lines open.

The executive Director of DotCom Therapy, Elise Mitchell, a certified speech-language pathologist says this about the use of teletherapy with military schools and families: “By using this remote, encrypted-platform, we are able to efficiently get to these students and pair them with a specialist because location is no longer a barrier. We are able to ensure that military students and families have access to an autism specialist, a bilingual therapist, a therapist who also has a husband in the military and understands that community etc….essentially whatever the school or family needs in their skilled therapist. It is very rewarding to meet the therapy needs of these families who are doing so much for our country.

To learn more about DotCom Therapy, visit