Lauri Mannermaa is a psychotherapist from Finland who uses Gruveo for therapy sessions with his patients. Our founder, Art Matsak, sat down with Lauri to learn more about his practice and how Gruveo helps him in his daily work.
Art: Please tell me about what you do.
Lauri: I'm a psychologist and a psychotherapist. My clients are mostly single, sometimes families or couples. It's psychotherapy, and I also do a kind of therapy called neurofeedback.
What kind of interactions do you use video conferencing for? Is it the therapy sessions or maybe something else as well?
It’s the therapy sessions. I start with seeing patients face-to-face, and then, when needed, we do therapy via video calls. Sometimes a client moves to another city or goes abroad for a longer period of time, and it's important to continue the relationship. I’m normally engaged with a client for one to three years, and it often happens that they travel places and stay somewhere for a couple of months or even longer.
"It’s critical that the video conferencing tool is not too complicated for my clients."
You mentioned to me earlier that the first interaction has to be face-to-face for the follow-up video sessions to be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Yes. In Finland we have this kind of a state insurance backup that pays about two-thirds of the amount for qualifying clients. But I have to see the client face-to-face first and only then can we switch to video sessions.
There are mainstream apps for video conferencing like Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime. What prompted you to look for an alternative?
I tried FaceTime and I think it's clumsy. I also tried Skype, but then I learned about its security issues and I heard that Gruveo is more secure. That was actually one of the main reasons I first got into Gruveo. Also, Gruveo is really easy to use. It’s critical that the video conferencing tool is not too complicated for my clients. Even two clicks can be too much. With Skype, there is a bigger chance that something will go wrong.
Have you considered any other options?
No. I’ve been happy with Gruveo and I stopped searching.
How did you learn about Gruveo?
I work one day a week or so at a local center for psychological well-being. There are about a hundred psychotherapists working there, and they first started to use Gruveo for security reasons. That's where I got the idea.
Did you have any doubts if Gruveo would work well for you?
Of course. I didn't accept it without trying. I wanted to see if it would work, and it has been working well so far. I actually used to work as a photographer and I've been struggling a lot with software and computers. I appreciate the kind of ease of use that Gruveo offers.
How long have you been using Gruveo?
Since last fall, so it’s been about six months now.
How are you finding the ease of use?
I haven't had any technical problems with Gruveo so far. I’ve only had connection issues a few times when the clients were in remote areas like Lapland or Eastern Finland where the mobile network coverage is not so good. There was some pixelation in the picture but that’s about it.
"I appreciate the kind of ease of use that Gruveo offers."
What do your clients say, especially when you ask them to call you via this new service they haven’t heard of?
We practice having a Gruveo call beforehand, during a face-to-face session with a client. I ask them to click the Gruveo link on my website and I show them how easy it is. The client knows that they don't have to remember any URLs or start any apps – just click a link on my website. So by the time we have a therapy session over Gruveo, the client is already comfortable with the tool.
Do you prefer to connect with your clients in call rooms, or do you use your Gruveo link for the calls?
I always use the Gruveo link. I wait for the client to call me at the time of the appointment. If they don’t – let’s say, within one minute – I drop them an email with the link so they can just click it.
"The client knows that they don't have to remember any URLs or start any apps – just click a link on my website."
Is there a Gruveo feature that you find particularly useful?
The ease of use would be my favorite. I also like the text chat where I can send a link to some material or a podcast to the client. It's really easy to do during the session.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you recommend Gruveo to a colleague?
I don't know what features are yet to come and whether I would miss something down the road, so I’d give a 9. If I gave a 10 and Gruveo gets even better, I wouldn’t be able to go higher!
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