Currently, Johnna Marcus, MSW ’15, LICSW, works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Division of Addiction Psychiatry in Boston. There, she serves as a social worker for patients in both outpatient and inpatient settings who have a diagnosis of substance use disorder.

As the social work profession continues to explore best practices in telehealth and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the creation of strong clinical relationships between practitioners and patients has become even more critical, Marcus says in a recent article she penned for the Social Work Voice in Spring 2021 via the NASW-Massachusetts Chapter.

“In the world of SUD treatment, where trust and communication are key, telehealth has created many challenges. Fortunately, our quest to overcome these challenges has led to greater insight into what makes SUD treatment effective, regardless of whether interventions occur through a screen or in-person.”

Read more about the efficacy of SUD treatment, validating patients’ statements of pain, strategies for building mutually beneficial alliances, and how clinical interventions are relational in Marcus’ article here.