By Tony Perry
Los Angeles Times
Published: July 5, 2013
Erik K. Shinseki, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, speaks to physicians in Philadelphia, April 13, 2012, from the Community Based Outpatient Clinic on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., via the clinic’s new Telehealth system during a tour of the facility.
Scott Snell/U.S. Air Force file photo
EL CENTRO, Calif. — Ruben Moreno Garcia, who served three combat tours in Iraq, now lives with his family in this Imperial Valley community and works as a mechanic in Yuma, Ariz.
Kathryn Williams, a clinical psychologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, has an office in the San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla, more than a hundred miles away.
Williams and Moreno Garcia meet once a week for an hour or so to discuss his progress in coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, the condition common to U.S. military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their sessions are over the Internet, using a firewall-protected connection and a different password for each session.
“Being in your own living room for sessions, that’s comfortable,” said Moreno Garcia, 31, who studied computers before enlisting in the Army.
Williams concedes she was somewhat suspect of the therapy-by-Internet method.
“I’ve been doing therapy face-to-face for 10 years, so I was skeptical,” Williams said. “But after one or two sessions, you forget about the camera.” Read Full Article Here