Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
As recorded in the October 22, 2010 minutes, The West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling (“The Board”) hereby issues the following advisory opinion regarding the practice of distance counseling:
Under the provisions of W.Va. Code § 30-31-1, it is unlawful for any person to practice or offer to practice professional counseling or marriage and family therapy in this state without a license. Be advised, it is the opinion of the Board that the requirements of W.Va. Code § 30-31-1, and all other rules and regulations governing the practice of professional counseling or marriage and family therapy, shall be applicable to the practice of distance counseling and shall expressly apply to any person providing distance counseling, as defined herein, to a person who resides, or is domiciled, in the State of West Virginia.
Distance counseling is defined as any counseling, including marriage and family therapy that is provided by any means other than direct in person services and is facilitated by the use of technology including, but not limited to, U.S. mail, telephone, telefax, email, internet or videoconference.
Please note, current licensing rules do not include specific provisions for distance counseling, however, please note the following:
The WV LPC providing distance counseling in WV is required to adhere to the distance counseling requirements detailed in the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Please click the title to download your copy. 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 distance counseling. Please click the title to download your copy.
The WV LMFT providing distance counseling in WV is required to adhere to the requirements included in the AAMFT Code of Ethics, revised January 1, 2015. Please click the title to download your copy. The LMFT will also benefit from reviewing the NBCC Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Counseling Services.
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).