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TeleBehavioral Health Competencies for Couple and Family Therapy

In this video interview, Dr. Katherine M. Hertlein’s talks with Ray Barrett of TCI about integrating technology into couple and family therapy sessions. Dr. Hertlein uses her experience as a Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to emphasize the importance of telebehavioral health competencies when training counseling graduate students—and what skills practicing clinicians can learn to optimize client care.

In general, the couple and family therapy fields were slow to embrace telehealth as a worthy format for clinical work. According to Dr. Hertlein, “there was a fear around [using telehealth]” because of the significance placed upon the therapist-client relationship. But when COVID-19 set in, there was a stronger wave of acceptance for online counseling.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Addressing Challenges to Virtual Services

In this video interview, Dr. Dominguez, the Founder of Shaping Change, describes how she uses applied behavior analysis with her clients. According to Dr. Dominguez, therapists aim to teach clients new skills while also addressing challenging behaviors with this “hands-on type of therapy.”

Examples include adapting to client learning styles through “visual cards” that cue clients to a therapist’s instruction, or by determining a client’s preferred method for communicating. In Dr. Dominguez’s experience, she’s noticed that when you teach practical skills to clients, there is usually a corresponding decline in challenging behaviors.

How Quickly Can I Have a Full TeleMental Health Caseload?

Maybe you tried telehealth for your counseling practice during the COVID-19 shutdown, and you’ve decided you would like to stick with it. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to go all-in on telehealth but weren’t sure you could get enough clients to sustain your business.

The good news is that many counselors are successfully carrying a full caseload of telehealth clients.

How do they do it? And how long does it take to get a full caseload if you only see clients via telehealth?

Over 3000 Professionals Gather for Virtual Telemental Health Preparedness Summit

Over 3000 Professionals Gather for Virtual Telemental Health Preparedness Summit

In May 2020, as a response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Telehealth Certification Institute hosted the first Telemental Health Preparedness Summit, a large-scale virtual training, in cooperation with national behavioral health associations, telehealth infrastructure companies, and expert clinical trainers.

COVID-19 significantly accelerated the need for behavioral health providers to serve clients virtually, requiring that the vast majority of clinicians become immediately trained in the technical, legal, and ethical aspects of telehealth. As national experts in certifying professionals in Telemental Health, the summit offered training and CE hours, in addition to opportunities for Telemental Health Certification. The Telemental Health Preparedness Summit brought together behavioral health professionals across disciplines (including therapists, psychologists, social workers, professors, chaplains, students, etc.) to quickly and competently train on critical remote services.

Responding to Domestic Abuse and Violence with TeleMental Health Services

In the midst of the global pandemic caused by Covid-19, there has not been a greater moment in time for telehealth services to be utilized with a variety of individuals who are experiencing feelings of isolation, stressors from social and economic impact of the virus, restrictions with their day to day movements, and also the potential added level of control associated with domestic abuse and violence that has been brought to the forefront as result of the virus.

Join us in examining and discussing the impact that Covid-19 crisis has had on the state of mental health services and its subsequent impact on domestic abuse and violence withTherese Hugg, the Vice President of Therapy Services at Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Ms. Hugg provides insight into how telehealth is being incorporated into the services that are being provided to clients of domestic abuse or violence. 

HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing

HIPAA compliant video conferencing is when a HIPAA-covered entity meets all of the requirements of the HIPAA and HITECH laws when using video conferencing with clients.  The totality of HIPAA compliance is too large of a topic for this one article but we will cover specifically the HIPAA considerations of using video conferencing technology with clients.

Georgia Telehealth Laws are Now in Effect

In early 2019, the Georgia Senate passed two bills addressing telehealth and telemedicine. Both bills address comprehensive healthcare reform in order to reduce costs, increase access, and enhance quality care for Georgia residents. Since 2006, the state of Georgia has addressed telehealth parity law, and continued to address the need and coordination of telehealth care. The most recent bills (Senate Bill 115 and Senate Bill 118) continue to demonstrate how Georgia legislature has updated and revised existing laws.

"The Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia" (SB 115) became effective on July 1, 2019. SB 115 allows for the provision of telemedicine licenses for physicians licensed and located outside of Georgia to provide care to patients who are located within the state at the time of service. SB 115 adds a new Code that defines the requirements for a telemedicine license.

Louisiana’s TeleTherapy Rule

Louisiana's LPC Board of Examiners has enacted their Teletherapy Guidelines for Licensees, which requires telemental health training prior to licensees providing teletherapy.  The new regulation is clear, helpful, and reasonable to comply with. 

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