Patrick Portman: Virtual Reality Therapy, Addiction Counseling, and Supporting the Deaf Community

# Exploring DEI and Therapy Techniques: An Insightful Conversation with Patrick Portman

Welcome to another exciting episode of "Wheel with It," hosted by Devon. This podcast is dedicated to exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues in a balanced and fun way. In this episode, we dove deep into therapeutic techniques and the unique challenges faced by the deaf community with our special guest, Patrick Portman, a therapist with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

## Meet Patrick Portman

Patrick Portman is not just a therapist; he is the executive director of a company called Life Tools, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Life Tools provides training and resources designed to help people overcome significant life obstacles, whether they are relational, mental health-related, or anything in between. Patrick shared his fascinating journey of working with diverse therapy techniques and his dedication to learning how to better assist his clients, including his adopted children who were born into addiction.

## Virtual Therapy Techniques

One of the key topics discussed was the use of virtual therapy techniques. Patrick explained how Life Tools uses platforms like Canvas, similar to those used by colleges and universities, to provide virtual modules. These modules cover various aspects of mental health and addiction, aimed at helping individuals at their own pace. The modules can range from 5 to 15 minutes and are accessible from any device with an internet connection, making them highly flexible for users.

## Addiction Counseling

Patrick's work in addiction counseling is driven by personal and professional experiences. He adopted three of his five children, all of whom were born into addiction. To better understand and help them, Patrick studied addiction at Liberty University and majored in neuropsychology at Harvard. His specialties include alcohol, substance, gambling, and sex addiction. Patrick discussed innovative therapy modalities such as VR therapy, light therapy, and kinesthetic therapy, which are designed to help those for whom traditional therapy has not been successful.

### Virtual Reality Therapy

The conversation took an interesting turn when Patrick explained the use of virtual reality (VR) therapy. Using equipment like the Oculus Meta 2, VR therapy creates controlled virtual environments to help individuals tackle conditions like addiction, depression, PTSD, and anxiety. This innovative approach allows therapists to see real-time data and responses, offering a unique way to address mental health issues.

## Challenges and Triumphs in Parenting Children with Addiction

Patrick shared deeply personal insights into the challenges of parenting children born into addiction. He highlighted the importance of addressing the developmental impacts of addiction, which often manifest later in life. With a focus on neurological repair and development, Patrick has seen significant progress in his children’s academic and social capabilities through dedicated therapy.

## Understanding the Deaf Community

Another significant part of the discussion was Patrick's passion for supporting the deaf community. His wife is deaf, and Patrick is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). He emphasized the importance of understanding and addressing the needs of the deaf community, which often goes underserved in the therapeutic world. Patrick urged businesses and individuals alike to learn ASL or find ways to effectively communicate with deaf individuals, whether through interpreters or technology.

### Communication Techniques with the Deaf

Patrick provided useful tips on communicating with the deaf community. He mentioned various technologies and apps that can assist in translating spoken language to ASL. He also debunked common myths, like the misconception that speaking louder can help a deaf person understand you. Instead, he suggested using text, apps, or even writing and emphasized the importance of not ignoring deaf individuals out of discomfort or uncertainty about how to communicate.

## Moving Forward

In closing, Patrick urged listeners to evaluate their lives and seek changes if they’re not satisfied with their current state. He emphasized that there are always resources and professionals available to help, and encouraged everyone to strive for personal growth and new learning.

## Follow Patrick Portman

You can follow Patrick on various social media platforms (see links below). He is also available via email at The Life Tools website ( hosts an array of resources discussed in this episode.

## Conclusion

This episode of "Wheel with It" was truly enlightening, shedding light on advanced therapy techniques and providing valuable insights into the deaf community. Be sure to follow both Devon and Patrick on social media, and stay tuned for more engaging episodes.

Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the show. Remember to follow the show and our guests on social media and subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app using the links in the show notes. Please remember to rate and review us. See you next time!

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