The counseling profession has struggled with barriers to delivering mental health services to clients across state lines since the conception of licensure law. Most states require counselors to be licensed in the state where the client resides. This means clients have to find a new counselor if they move out of state. It also limits telehealth options for many clients.

To address this dilemma the American Counseling Association (ACA) – in collaboration with the National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) – has been working on an interstate licensure compact. This compact would create licensure portability for professional counselors – creating a way for counselors to practice in multiple states.

To explore what the interstate compact would mean for counselors, Raymond Barrett, CEO of the Telehealth Certification Institute (TCI), interviewed Dr. Lynn Linde, chief knowledge and learning officer at ACA.

 

Many clinicians are quite adept at using technology, yet the competencies that are required when providing telehealth services are not so evident. Raymond Barrett created this recorded course as an overview of all topics regarding telemental health.  It is not meant to address all of the areas of telehealth, but instead is offered so that you can assess your own level of competency and provide clinicians with the "broad strokes" of the competencies of telehealth. Topics addressed include: why telemental health is an important option for clients, the benefits (and drawbacks) of telemental health, how US licensure law impacts telemental health, telemental health-specific ethical standards, and preparing clients for a session.

We are pleased to offer this one-hour video for FREE to anyone by clicking the "Play" option on the video above.

In addition to the video training, if you would like to earn 1 CE credit, you can do that by enrolling in the one-hour self-study course for $20

woman looking at video meeting on laptop

Many of us shifted big chunks of our lives online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have virtual visits with our clients, our doctors, our friends – even our families. Video conferencing has literally been a lifesaver, but a bad side effect has cropped up – a new disorder dubbed  “Zoom Dysmorphia.”

The problem is that most video conferencing platforms automatically display all participants – including ourselves. And many of us don’t like what we see. A recent study of more than 100 board-certified dermatologists published in the January 2021 issue of the International Journal of Women's Dermatology found an increase in patients seeking out cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance on video conference calls. According to the study, after hours of fixating on their small, often distorted image, during video conference calls, some people are developing a negative self-image.

The National Conference of State Legislators report estimated that telehealth users would increase from 250,000 in 2013 to 3.2 million in 2018—but no one could have expected the surge that erupted out of the COVID-19 pandemic, a public health fiasco that rapidly shut the door on in-school learning for K-12 students.

Teachers and students aren’t the only ones adopting new classroom procedures. Telehealth platforms have also enabled nursing departments to reach students who are isolated, undergoing COVID-19 quarantine, or who cannot physically meet in-person for an appointment with the school nurse. As CNBC’s Bertha Coombs emphasized, telehealth interactions—including those with children, families, and adults—neared 1 billion visits toward the end of 2020. Both the National Association of Student Nurses (NASN) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have endorsed a holistic, whole-student model that could include a telehealth option.

If you just started offering telemental health sessions, or you’d like to refresh your virtual professionalism, this telehealth etiquette guide includes practical, actionable ideas. As a therapy delivery method, telehealth expands your clinical practice options and your client base. But since most counseling programs train therapists to deliver in-person services to individuals, families, and couples, pivoting to telehealth can be challenging. 

Below are some telehealth etiquette tips to keep in mind:

Professionally dressed woman looking at laptop

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a forceful period of transformation for the healthcare field, as economic pressures and safety concerns have intersected with medical and mental health needs. In response, healthcare organizations are pivoting to offer multi-layered treatment plans with a focus on telehealth.

Across the country, organizations have tasked telehealth directors, managers, or telemedicine program coordinators with implementing an ethical and practical telehealth transition plan. But directing a telehealth program is a complicated endeavor; few practices are prepared to effectively launch compliant, large-scale telehealth operations. Professionals in these roles need to understand the full scope of managing telehealth services (from strategy to implementation and evaluation). Learning about these competencies can help directors avoid pitfalls, maximize efficiency, invest in a long-term utilization plan, and increase satisfaction for customers and clinicians.

woman in yellow coat crossing a hanging bridge with hands on the rope siding

The jurisdictional structure of the counseling profession has hampered counselors and their clients for decades. Differing state licensure requirements associated with educational coursework, supervision hours, and professional examinations have fragmented the profession since the founding of the American Counseling Association (ACA) in 1952 and continue to impact counselors. An easy, straightforward answer to this dilemma has eluded industry decision-makers for years, but a professional reformation is underway—set in motion by a three-year investigative study, true portability for counselors is possible.

Compassion Fatigue webinar banner with presenters images and names

Four mental health experts recommend ways to manage compassion fatigue and burnout for behavioral health professionals.

Watch the recording today!

For our December installment of the Behavioral Health Toolbox Series, we covered a topic that is near-and-dear to many of us as we transition into 2021: compassion fatigue and burnout among healthcare professionals. The Telehealth Certification Institute Toolbox Series delivers live virtual webinars on telehealth topics facilitated by experts in the behavioral health field. Our webinars are practical, immersible, and driven by your interests.

Four panelists contributed to the December discussion. Sarah Dooling, a registered play therapist and instructor in San Diego State University’s MSW program, took an inventive approach to coping with pre-COVID triggers and current stressors. Sara advised practitioners to create a Resilience Kit with tools that will keep you well. Sara’s suggestion highlighted one of the webinar’s primary goals—optimizing creativity while creating new self-care routines. As Sara described for viewers, using transitional objects, such as a piece of paper with the names of your personal support squad, can act as a visual indicator.

Couples counseling is stressful during normal times – two people struggling to keep their relationship alive, and pinning a lot of hope on their therapist. Even “good sessions” – with both partners working hard on the relationship – are often filled with a double-dose of painful emotions. 

When COVID-19 hit, couples therapy became even more complicated. Many therapists switched to telehealth to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Now, partners are in their own home (together), and the therapist is miles away peering at them through a tiny camera.

Sue Johnson, the developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), wrote that her first response to the idea of online couples therapy was “total disbelief.” In an article published in the November/December 2020 issue of Psychotherapy Networker Magazine, Johnson said that until about 18 months ago, she “simply refused to consider it.”

Healthcare worker with stethoscope writing on clipboard

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, telehealth became a necessity for many communities across the United States as a means of mitigating the risk of virus transmission and accessing healthcare in a timely manner. Telehealth has expanded access to healthcare in many communities across the country which previously lacked access to such healthcare, including Native communities. On April 8, 2020, the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced an expansion of telehealth across all facilities.

Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
Dr. STEPHEN KIURI GITONGA
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health
It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC
This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
Keith Ayson
Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
Amazing and relevant information conveyed over excellent format. This is a professional organization worth joining.
Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
Jaime Wright
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
Therapist
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
Bridgette Nalumu
Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
Thank you for an informational, relevant course to help me obtain my TMH certificate. Excellent presentation.
Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services