Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
"Technology-Assisted Counseling or Therapy is defined as any counseling or marriage and family therapy that is facilitated by the use of technology including, but not limited to, interactive audio, video or other telecommunications or electronic media, when the counselor or therapist and the client are not located in the same place at the time of service delivery."
"For the Out-of-State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) who wishes to provide technology-assisted counseling or therapy to the client physically present in WV: All persons providing counseling or marriage and family therapy via technology-assisted delivery to persons (clients) physically present in the State of West Virginia shall be licensed in West Virginia."
"For the licensee of this Board that uses technology-assisted counseling or therapy as the delivery method, the WV Board of Counseling recommends the following:
1) The licensee should be reminded of the standards of counseling and marriage and family therapy practice set forth in W. Va. Code § 30-31-1 et seq., Board rules, and professional code(s) of ethics as per W. Va. Code § 27-1-11 and §27-8-10, also apply to technology-assisted counseling and therapy. Technology-Assisted counseling or therapy shall be held to the same standards of appropriate practice as those in-person settings.
2) The licensee should be aware of the potential problems unique to technology-assisted counseling or therapy in that the counseling relationship, client identity, and other counseling related matters may be compromised.
3) The licensee should limit the practice of technology-assisted counseling or therapy to the areas of competence in which proficiency has been gained through education, training, and experience. Additionally, the licensee should continually assess both their professional and technical competence when providing technology-assisted counseling or therapy.
4) The licensee should understand and inform their clients of the limits to confidentiality and risks to the possible access or disclosure of confidential data and information that may occur during electronic service delivery.
5) The licensee shall take reasonable steps to ensure that security measures are in place for obtaining, protecting, verifying, and controlling access to client data.
6.a.) For the WV Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) providing distance counseling to a client physically present in WV, the licensee shall adhere to "Section H - Distance Counseling, Technology, and Social Media" of the current version of the ACA Code of Ethics. In addition, the board recommends the LPC review the NBCC Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services to provide further guidance and ethical considerations when providing technology assisted counseling.
6.b.) For the WV Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) providing distance therapy to a client physically present in WV, the licensee shall adhere to "Standard VI - Technology Assisted Professional Services" of the current version of the AAMFT Code of Ethics. In addition, the LMFT will also benefit from referencing the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards – Teletherapy Guidelines (September 2016)."
Telemental health is not a separate service from mental health services. All state licensing boards require that licensed clinicians follow all the regulations for practicing under their license no matter what medium of communication is used. All licensing boards also require that clinicians only practice within the boundaries of their competence. This usually requires education, continuing education, and/or supervision in telemental health. Complete our telehealth training program to cover all the essential competencies of providing telemental health services and earn the THTC (Telemental Health Training Certificate).