Three Ways to Make Teletherapy Even More Effective

If you are a counselor, therapist, or psychologist used to seeing clients in the office, the coronavirus has certainly changed the way you work. No more office visits. Everything is now remote. As many mental health professionals struggle to make the transition to teletherapy, become familiar with the platform they are choosing to use, and help their clients adjust, here are three ways to make your teletherapy even more effective.

Teletherapy

1. Invite Your Client To Discuss Their Thoughts About Teletherapy

When clients first come to the office for therapy, it is always helpful to look for ways to make things more comfortable for them. One way to do this is to ask them what it is like for them to come to therapy. From the minute they make the appointment, to the time they step into the office and meet you, often you will find a wealth of information, and in the process, help them feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings, however uncomfortable, with you.

As teletherapy is likely new for many clients, the transition can be a wonderful time to again lay the foundation for your client to express her thoughts to you. One great way to do this is simply to ask your client what teletherapy is like for them. Ask how they feel about not coming to the office, about doing therapy at home, about the process of getting online, or using the telephone, and about not seeing you in person. These questions can serve to make the transition more comfortable for your client, and also help you both navigate any uncomfortable components of teletherapy together.

2. Use Your Client’s Environment

When a client comes to the office, we have already taken steps to set it up in a way that we hope will make clients more comfortable. We may have placed our diplomas on the wall. We may have hung inspirational pictures or quotes. We have probably placed the furniture in a way that will help clients feel relaxed and comfortable.

However, when we use teletherapy, the environment our client is in is set up by our client. They may choose to attend their sessions with you from their office, their living room, or their bedroom. And, like you, they have also placed their furniture in a way that makes them feel comfortable and hung their pictures or paintings in a way that feels right to them.

Their room may be neat and tidy, or messy and disorganized. Whatever the case, you can ask your client to share their environment through video with you. And then, you can ask your client to describe why they have chosen to set up their environment as they have.

Much like your office is a reflection of you, your tastes and preferences, and, to some extent, your beliefs and values, so is your client’s environment. You may even find that there are components of your client’s environment that could be changed to help her feel even better.

3. Send Follow Up Messages

When we see a client in the office, we may have a practice of recapping what we worked on, revisiting the gains and progress they have made, reviewing any homework we assign and preparing for the work ahead. This is a wonderful way to keep the therapy sessions effective, organized, and helpful for the client.

With teletherapy, we have the opportunity to send our client follow-up messages with all of this information, which will make it easier for them to retain. According to HIPPA, “Non-public facing remote communication products would include, for example, platforms such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, Whatsapp video chat, Zoom, or Skype. Such products also would include commonly used texting applications such as Signal, Jabber, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, or iMessage.

Typically, these platforms employ end-to-end encryption, which allows only an individual and the person with whom the individual is communicating to see what is transmitted.” Once you choose the platform that works for you and your client, sending messages can be easy, helpful, and effective.

Teletherapy, while it is a big transition for many mental health professionals and clients alike, can be tremendously effective, and you may even find, with a few small steps, even preferable for you and your clients.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

E-Therapy: Ethics & Best Practices is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the advantages, risks, technical issues, legalities, and ethics of providing therapy online. Click here to learn more.

Ethics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!



Telehealth: Quick Tips to Get Started

Telehealth is rapidly growing as we all adjust our lives due to COVID-19. Here are some quick tips and resources to help you get started.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 and resulting pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives, that for many of us, life today almost seems surreal. Non-emergency in-office visits are now a thing of the past and telehealth is being pushed on us. We must keep at least a six-foot distance between ourselves and everyone else. For some of us, curfews have been imposed and only essential travel is allowed. And, in Florida, police are present at state lines, screening entrance into the state.

So, for therapists, counselors, psychologists, and all mental health professionals, the only answer is to turn to telehealth, also known as teletherapy, e-therapy, telemental health, telepractice, and telepsychology (among other names), which means a new learning curve. So here are some quick tips to help you get started:

Understand What Is Allowed And What Is Not

At the time of this writing, the HIPAA rules have been relaxed regarding
telehealth. Specifically, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has authority over HIPAA, states, “A covered health care provider that wants to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with patients.

What that means is that public facing platforms like Facebook Live, Twitch, and Tik-Tok should not be used for providing telehealth. However, platforms like Apple Facetime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangout video, or Skype can be used.

Important to note that the OCR does not endorse any of these. While greater privacy protection can be obtained by using HIPAA-compliant video communication solutions, the relaxation of the HIPAA policy means that non-public facing platforms – which would normally not be allowed – are now allowed, provided that they are used in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth. This means that to the provider’s knowledge, the platform used is private, and not accessible to the public.

Make Every Effort To Provide A Therapeutic Space

It is a given that when a patient enters an office for therapy, the room will be quiet, inviting, and most important, private and free from distractions. When offering therapy over the internet or phone, however, making the space where therapy will be offered similar to what would be expected in traditional therapy will take some effort.

To begin, be sure that the room you work in is quiet. While some things like your neighbor mowing his lawn may not be avoidable, things like the dog barking, kids screaming or playing in the background should be minimized.

Next ensure that the area you choose is one where you will be free from distractions. This may mean using a door sign for family members that reads, “In Session” so they will know not to interrupt you.

Lastly, choose an area where you feel like you can focus. While this may seem obvious, we do put effort into arranging a traditional office not just to be inviting for our clients, but also to help us feel comfortable, safe, inspired, and focused. So take some time to think about where you will feel most comfortable and if needed, create a space for yourself.

Encourage Your Client To Make His/Her Space Therapeutic

Just like it will take some effort on your end to make your space therapeutic, your clients will also need to think about where in their environment will be most quiet, secure, private, and free from distractions. Perhaps they has a home office that be used, a bedroom that is quiet, or even an outside area like a patio, deck, or backyard.

Again, what is most important is that your clients find a place where they truly feel comfortable and can focus without interruption. This may be somewhat challenging, especially with kids at home, however this is all the more reason to encourage your client to take the time to find the appropriate space, before teletherapy or e-therapy sessions begin.

Know Your Resources

Because telehealth is a new format for many of us, it is always helpful to know where to find more information when it is needed. In response to the emergency, HIPAA Journal has worked with Compliancy Group to set up a free hotline for any questions you may have related to HIPAA compliance during the COVID-19 crisis. That number is (800) 231-4096.

The first place to start is by checking with your professional licensing board website to find guidance specific to your state/profession.
https://www.pdresources.org/page/index/17/State-CE-Requirements

Federal Government Guidance on Telehealth

H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, signed into law on March 6, gives states the ability to request waivers that would allow them to use Medicare and Medicaid funds for telehealth services without the “originating site requirement.” Under normal circumstances, patients are required to have one or more face-to-face appointments at a qualifying health care site before Medicare or Medicaid will pay for telehealth services. Counselors are not covered under Medicare, but Medicaid coverage varies by state. Most states cover Medicaid services provided by counselors, but some restrict the types of providers that can furnish telehealth services. States that have waivers approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may lift some restrictions temporarily and begin covering counseling services via telehealth. Several other federal government agencies have released guidance important to behavioral health providers.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors lists contact information for each state Medicaid agency. If you are unsure of the status of Medicaid coverage for counselors providing telehealth in your state, contact your state Medicaid director’s office or govtaffairs@nbcc.org.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also released additional guidance on telehealth for state Medicaid programs and provides general information on telehealth benefits in Medicaid.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have issued guidance on the use of telemedicine for medication-assisted treatment. SAMHSA has also released guidance relating to the prohibitions on use and disclosure of patient identifying information under 442 CFR Part 2.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights has stated it will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers who serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the emergency.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has created Practice Resources in Response to COVID-19 (which includes information on telepsychology and telehealth) available at:
https://www.apaservices.org/practice/clinic?_ga=2.125054154.1107876864.1585682285-731192192.1585682285

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has posted Telepractice Resources During COVID-19 for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists:
https://www.asha.org/About/Telepractice-Resources-During-COVID-19/

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) has developed a COVID-19 Information Page: https://www.nbcc.org/covid-19

The Trust Practice and Risk Management Association (TrustPARMA) also offers a free sample of an informed consent for e-therapy at: https://parma.trustinsurance.com/Workshops-Webinars/Telepsychology.

The Florida House of Representatives has updated their legislation to include standards of practice for telehealth providers in the state of Florida:
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/23/BillText/er/PDF

The Florida Department of Health states: “Individual licensed health care professionals are required to use independent judgement or seek personal legal counsel as it relates to interpreting the Florida telehealth law and the various executive orders regarding telehealth by any method to ensure that the care provided meets the standards of the established scope of practice for the profession.”

The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) has also posted an overview of HIPAA considerations for implementing telehealth, as well as options for HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms at: www.camft.org/Resources/Legal-Articles/Telehealth-HIPAA-and-Compliant-TeleHealth-Platforms.

Lastly, the HIPAA announcement regarding the relaxation of policies during the COVID-19 national emergency can be found at www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html.

Offering telehealth is a wonderful resource, and thanks to the relaxation of HIPAA policies, now much more accessible to health professionals, and clients alike. Thankfully, the COVID-19 national emergency need not interrupt mental health services.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

E-Therapy: Ethics & Best Practices is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the advantages, risks, technical issues, legalities, and ethics of providing therapy online.

E-therapy can be used to address age-old problems, such as how to reach out to those who might not otherwise avail themselves of psychotherapy services even though they are in acute need. At the same time, it is clear that many providers have embraced the new technologies without a firm grasp on the new and serious vulnerabilities that are introduced when their patients’ personal health information goes online. Included in this course are sections on video therapy, email, text messaging, smart phone use, social media, cloud storage, Skype, and other telecommunications services.

This course is focused upon the ethical principles that are called into play with the use of e-therapy. Among them the most obvious concern is for privacy and confidentiality. Yet these are not the only ethical principles that will be challenged by the increasing use of e-therapy. The others include interjurisdictional issues (crossing state lines), informed consent, competence and scope of practice, boundaries and multiple relationships, and record keeping.

In addition to outlining potential ethical problems and HIPAA challenges, this course includes recommended resources and sets of specific guidelines and best practices that have been established and published by various professional organizations. Course #31-19 | 2019 | 60 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Teletherapy is the Future Norm

teletherapy

Teletherapy will be part of normal practice for psychologists in a decade, predicts leading online therapy educator Marlene Maheu, PhD.

Psychologists must embrace the change or be left behind, warns Sherry Benton, PhD, ABPP, founder of the teletherapy company TAO Connect.

“We in the behavioral world are the last holdouts for technological change in health care,” said Maheu, executive director and founder of the Telebehavioral Health Institute. “Technology is evolving, and I firmly believe we will be connecting with one another in many new ways in the future.” Maheu oversees telebehavioral health training at the institute and has been involved with teletherapy as a clinical psychologist herself since 1994.

Benton, a psychologist and former director of a large university mental health clinic, became convinced a few years ago that adding teletherapy to psychology practices could help millions of people living in areas underserved by mental health specialists. After testing the concept with college students in 2014, she launched TAO Connect to provide teletherapy to college and university counseling centers.

Both Maheu and Benton believe that psychologists who want to provide counseling via video conferencing, email or telephone need to educate themselves first about the practice. Maheu’s institute offers classes, as do the American Psychological Association and other organizations and companies.

“It’s critical to get training,” Benton said. “There are so many things you might not think about.”

That includes having a license to practice in the state where the patient is, having a crisis management plan for online patients, knowing how to keep consultations with a patient private and knowing how to rewrite consent-to-treat forms for patients you may never see in person, she said.

Equally important, Maheu said, is figuring out what population you want to serve online and identifying a way to get paid for your online work. If you work with at-risk youth and want to serve that community online, figure out what agency might pay you for the online work. Or if you want to work online with senior citizens in nursing homes, there are online employers who will hire you to do that, she said.

Similarly, if you are in private practice and want to add online work, health insurance could be your payer, she said. “This is not about reinventing yourself, but doing what you’re already good at with technology,” Maheu said.

Numerous online therapy companies have popped up in recent years, including TalkSpace, BreakThrough, BetterHelp, and iCouch, and many enlist a variety of therapists, including psychologists, to work full or part time as outside contractors.

Each company is different and any psychologist who wants to associate with one should investigate the firm carefully, Benton said. “You want to look at how they work, what your reimbursement rate is, what’s expected of you – basically what’s their deal and does it fit with the way you want to work,” she said.

TalkSpace is one of the largest and mainly provides counseling sessions through texting. BreakThrough and BetterHelp both offer videoconferencing with therapists and BetterHelp also offers messaging, live messaging chats and telephone sessions with therapists.

iCouch, while it offers therapist referrals, concentrates on providing services for therapists who want to practice online. Those include videoconferencing, therapy marketing, scheduling and billing services.

Benton’s company is similar, offering private practitioners a suite of tools they can use for their own online services. They include HIPPA-compliant video conferencing, education modules for patients, administrative tools and secure messaging.

“We just license our materials; we don’t actually hire psychologists,” Benton said. “But our tools allow psychologists to help more patients and to help their income.”

Psychologists can offer patients shorter therapy sessions, such as 20 minutes, and augment that with patient education sessions from TAO, she said. “Even after a psychologist pays for TAO they really can increase their income,” she said.

One of the newest entries into the market is LARKR, a video therapy app that launched in October through the Apple App Store. LARKR links therapists with patients for 50-minute sessions on mobile devices. The site, at larkr.com, is seeking 10,000 certified mental health therapists to join its ranks, according to its press information.

Plenty of information is available online for psychologists who are considering trying online therapy.

iCouch has several blogs that suggest ways to get started: (Add “online therapy available” to your business cards and website; ask current clients if they’d be interested in trying a session online; try online therapy several times so you become comfortable with the technology).

The APA has a 19-page Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology on its website that encourages psychologists to get specific training and includes information about confidentiality, informed consent and interjurisdictional practice.

This article is included in the online continuing education course Therapy Tidbits – March/April 2018. Click here to learn more.

Related Online Continuing Education Courses:

E-Therapy: Ethics & Best PracticesE-Therapy: Ethics & Best Practices is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the advantages, risks, technical issues, legalities and ethics of providing therapy online. E-therapy can be used to address age-old problems, such as how to reach out to those who might not otherwise avail themselves of psychotherapy services even though they are in acute need. At the same time, it is clear that many providers have embraced the new technologies without a firm grasp on the new and serious vulnerabilities that are introduced when their patients’ personal health information goes online. Included in this course are sections on video therapy, email, text messaging, smart phone use, social media, cloud storage, Skype, and other telecommunications services. This course is focused upon the ethical principles that are called into play with the use of e-therapy. Among them the most obvious concern is for privacy and confidentiality. Yet these are not the only ethical principles that will be challenged by the increasing use of e-therapy. The others include interjurisdictional issues (crossing state lines), informed consent, competence and scope of practice, boundaries and multiple relationships, and record keeping. In addition to outlining potential ethical problems and HIPAA challenges, this course includes recommended resources and sets of specific guidelines and best practices that have been established and published by various professional organizations. Course #30-87 | 2016 | 52 pages | 20 posttest questions

Ethics and Social MediaEthics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are psychotherapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication? The purpose of this course is to offer psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social networking and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #20-75 | 2016 | 32 pages | 15 posttest questions

Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral HealthPreventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the ways in which clients can be harmed in mental health practice, and the many strategies for anticipating and avoiding such undesirable outcomes. This course is intended to increase clinicians’ awareness of the many types of errors that can occur within mental health practice, how such errors damage clients, and numerous ways they can be prevented. Its emphasis is on areas within mental health practice that carry the potential for “medical” errors. Examples include improper diagnosis; breaches of privacy and confidentiality; mandatory reporting requirements; managing dangerous clients; boundary violations and sexual misconduct; the informed consent process; and clinical and cultural competency. There are major new sections on psychotherapy in the digital age, including the use of social networking systems, the challenges of maintaining and transmitting electronic records, and engaging in the practice of teletherapy. *This course satisfies the medical errors requirement for license renewal of Florida mental health professionals. Course #21-18 | 2018 | 38 pages | 15 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Video Chat Therapy and Virtual Doctor Visits are Becoming Much More Mainstream

By Taylor Tepper

Video Chat Therapy and Virtual Doctor Visits are Becoming Much More Mainstream This articles talks about how teletherapy is becoming much more mainstream – fast. Also notable is that more states are requiring health insurers to cover telemedicine, or virtual doctor visits by phone, text, or video link.

When you need help with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health condition, finding affordable care can be a challenge. A shortage of qualified doctors and therapists means just getting an appointment can be tough. Plus, since finding in-network care can be harder than it is for medical care, you may have to shoulder a hefty portion of the price of your treatment. Now an emerging trend in health care may offer some relief.

More and more states are requiring health insurers to cover telemedicine—doctor visits that are conducted by phone, text, or video link—and more companies are adding the service as an employee benefit. Almost all large employers will offer telemedicine over the next four years, according to a recent National Business Group on Health survey.

Last year UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurer, announced that it would offer “virtual physician visits.” The Department of Veterans Affairs has invested $1 billion in tele-health.

Telemedicine increasingly includes mental illness treatment. In May, Walgreens teamed with Mental Health America and MDLive to create a portal where you can access more than 1,000 mental health providers. Consultations start at $60, and you can use the video chat service from anywhere.

“Virtual therapy can be as effective as traditional therapy,” says Willis Towers Watson senior health management consultant Allan Khoury, especially for people who don’t want to be seen walking into a therapist’s office, or don’t have one nearby.

A 2011 study out of the University of Amsterdam that was published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics found that “online cognitive behavioral treatment is a viable and effective alternative to face-to-face treatment.” A 2015 large-scale review of various tele-health practices by the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group reported that outcomes for those seeking mental health treatment remotely—along with other medical conditions—were no different than for those who got in-person care.

With employers still determining coverage levels, costs are evolving, says Khoury, who has seen an initial 90-minute session go for $200, with subsequent 30-minute follow-ups priced at $90, similar to in-person costs.

One reason people go without therapy is that there are simply are not enough qualified doctors and nurses to treat mental illness. Nearly 103 million Americans live in area designated as having a shortage of mental health professionals. That’s 63% more than those who don’t live near a primary care doctor, and twice as many as those without speedy access to a dentist, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Read More of the Original Article: http://time.com/money/4589987/therapy-telemedicine-phone/

Related Online Continuing Education Courses

This course is focused upon the ethical principles that are called into play with the use of e-therapy. Among them the most obvious concern is for privacy and confidentiality. Yet these are not the only ethical principles that will be challenged by the increasing use of e-therapy. The others include interjurisdictional issues (crossing state lines), informed consent, competence and scope of practice, boundaries and multiple relationships, and record keeping.In addition to outlining potential ethical problems and HIPAA challenges, this course includes recommended resources and sets of specific guidelines and best practices that have been established and published by various professional organizations.
Ethics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are psychotherapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication?

 

Ethics & Boundaries in Psychotherapy is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course intended to give psychotherapists the tools they need to resolve the common and not-so-common ethical and boundary issues and dilemmas that they may expect to encounter in their everyday professional practice in the 21st century. Among the topics discussed are definitions of boundaries; resolving conflicts between ethics and the law; boundary crossings vs. boundary violations; multiple relationships; sexual misconduct; privacy and confidentiality in the age of HIPAA and the Patriot Act; ethics issues with dangerous clients; boundary issues in clinical supervision; ethics and cultural competency; ethical boundaries in use of social media; ethical practice in teletherapy; fees and financial relationships; and a 17-step model for ethical decision making.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.

We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

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APA’s Telepsychology 50-State Review & Guidelines

By the American Psychological Association

Telepsychology Review & GuidelinesThe trend toward telepsychology — the use of communication technologies in the provision of psychological services — has the potential to reduce hospitalizations, increase access to mental health care and save lives. But there are also limitations and restrictions on the use of telepsychology. Statutes and regulations governing the provision of telepsychology services vary greatly from state to state.

Over the past few years, a growing number of states have passed or updated laws or rules governing telepsychology practice. The increasing volume of laws pertain to both delivery of and payment for telepsychology services.

In light of these developments, the APA Practice Directorate’s Office of Legal & Regulatory Affairs has updated the Telepsychology 50-state review (previously called the Telehealth 50-state review) to guide psychologists in navigating the regulations and provisions in their state.

Telepsychology 50 state review (PDF, 1.01MB)

At its late July 2013 meeting, the APA Council of Representatives approved new Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology. A Joint Task Force on the Development of Telepsychology Guidelines for Psychologists, comprised of members representing APA, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust (APAIT), was formed in 2011 to create guidelines for the practice of telepsychology.

The new telepsychology guidelines (PDF, 113KB) are available on the APA Practice Organization’s Practice Central website.

If you have any questions, please contact the APA Office of Legal & Regulatory affairs or call (202) 336-5886.