I am excited to announce that the Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is now an approved provider for continuing education by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners and the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work.
LCSWs and LMHCs in NY can now earn CE hours while qualifying to become a credentialed telemental health provider.
Collaboration at its best! Two years ago, NASW partnered with ASWB, CSWE, and CSWA. They created the Task Force for Technology Standards in Social Work Practice which produced a thorough set of standards on the use of technology in the practice of social work. In 2016 the task force released a draft to the public for comments. After careful review of the comments received and many other sources of best practices, they released the NASW, ASWB, CSWE, & CSWA Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice.
I am glad to announce that the Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is now approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) as a provider of continuing education.
Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC, #1609, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 05/02/2018 – 05/02/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
Georgia is using telemental health for assessments, treatment, supervision, coordination of care, school-based services, and in many other facilities. The Partnership Georgia Partnership for Telehealth has had 240,000 telehealth patient visits in 2014, and it currently includes over 600 locations with over 200 specialists and healthcare partners. Georgia has had a telehealth parity law since 2006. Georgia has been requiring counselors, social workers, and MFTs to receive 6 hours of CE training in telemental health. Georgia’s Office of Telehealth & Telemedicine is establishing a new sophisticated telemedicine network.
If you are wanting to begin offering telebehavioral health services in Georgia, I highly recommend earning a certification. A certification in telebehavioral health will not only teach you important best practices but will inform referral sources of your credibility.
North Carolina is greatly utilizing telemental health. The Statewide Telepsychiatry Program (NC-STeP) in NC anticipates connecting eighty or more hospital emergency departments with psychiatric assessments and consultations. Most major insurance companies in NC are reimbursing for telebehavioral health services. The Center for Rural Health Innovation’s Health-e-Schools program provides school-based telehealth services to thirty-three schools in four counties. North Carolina has a proposed telehealth parity law, HB 283. Both Licensed Professional Counselors and Social Workers in North Carolina can now receive supervision hours through the use of technology.
The expansion of telemental health in North Carolina is helping overcome the barriers to access to treatment. If you are a behavioral health clinician in North Carolina, I encourage you to seek training in telemental health.
You can earn you Telemental Health Training Certificate (THTC) by taking one of our upcoming courses. Click here to find a training closest to you.
Are you a behavioral health educator?
Can you effectively connect with students online?
Will students truly be prepared for providing behavioral health services after attending an online program?
In this interview, you will hear from Corinna Costello PhD, LCPC, ATR-BC, a seasoned faculty member, on what it is really like to educate behavioral health students online.
Interview with Dr. Christina Strayer, Ed.D, LPC, CCTP, AAT, NBCT, a Doctoral level Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Counselor in Trauma Procedures (CCTP) and trained in Animal Assisted Therapist (AAT). Dr. Strayer shares how she got started with telebehavioral health, how she uses her therapy pets during her psychotherapy sessions, and advice for other online therapists. You can contact Dr. Strayer at 919-901-5349
Most clients are seeking help with relationships. Many clients are engaging in online dating. Clinicians can help their clients with attachment and romance by using a helpful book on online dating.
The West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists
TELE-PSYCHOLOGY – SKYPE
In July 2011, the APA Division 29 task force on tele-psychology observed that internet and cell phone communication do not have the same security as a land line phone. The task force accurately comments that "The Internet is not regulated and not currently protected by privacy laws. Skype, for example, is not an encrypted site and is, therefore, not a confidential means of communication. "The task force further comments that providing psychotherapy on unencrypted sites is ‘ill advised’". The WV Board of Examiners agrees.
Because this does not completely preclude providing such services, extreme caution is advised. For those holding a license to practice in a given jurisdiction, clinical judgment and common sense must be vigorously employed in the choice to use such venue. In such a case, based on the APA's conclusions and recommendations, the WV Board of Examiners believes the psychologist would need to:
1. Contact their malpractice insurance carrier to determine if skype work is covered.
2. Contact the patient's insurance to determine coverage.
3. Use skype with an established patient determined not to be a high risk patient.
4. Make certain the patient fully understands that skype is NOT the same as a phone conversation and is not protected by federal privacy law. It is an open/public forum and anything on skype can be published/used/broadcast/etc. Signed consent would be needed before using skype.
It is somewhat doubtful that all of the above would be approved once the full nature of skype is known, but even then skype should be used on a limited basis, not as a complete substitute for in person treatment.
The WV Board of Social Work has adopted, by legislative process, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics for professional social workers.
Social workers who provide services via electronic media (such as computer, telephone, radio, and television) should inform recipients of the limitations and risks associated with such services.
Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling
Advisory opinion regarding the practice of distance counseling.
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
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.