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Continuing Education

I Graduated Already, Why Do I Have to Take Continuing Education Classes?

You completed your undergraduate program, then your master’s degree. You might even have completed a Ph.D. program. You took a licensure exam. You worked under supervision for a year or two. Finally, you were fully licensed. 

But you’re not done with your education just yet. In fact, you likely won’t ever be done - not as long as you want to keep practicing in your profession.

Counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists - in fact, most healthcare professionals - typically are required to take continuing education classes throughout their careers to maintain licensure. 

You can check your state’s CE requirements here. 

Each state has licensure laws that set minimum continuing education requirements. Why?

Overcoming Barriers to Meet Needs of Military Members and Veterans

Clinicians often wonder, “How can I provide therapy to active-duty military members and veterans?” There is an immense need for comprehensive mental health services among this population and the growing field of telehealth has allowed clinicians more access than ever before to provide services to military personnel, veterans, and their families.

Recently, Ray Barrett sat down for an interview with Dr. Mark Stebnicki, a mental health counselor and instructor for the Clinical Military Counseling Certificate Program, and Randy Phelps, CEO of Give An Hour- a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive, no-cost mental health services to veterans.

HIPAA-Compliant TeleMental Health

HIPAA and TeleMental Health: Get Compliant!

Is your telemental health practice HIPAA compliant? It’s a question that can cause a knot in the stomach of even the most experienced telemental health professionals. For those just starting out in telehealth, it may even cause a bout of panic. Exactly how does HIPAA impact counselors who are using telehealth? Are the rules different than the rules for in-person therapy?

Even if you’ve taken a continuing education class covering HIPAA, it may not have covered telemental health and you may have questions. 

Let’s start with some basics: 

Working with Children & Adolescents Using Tele-Play Therapy

Dr. Yolanda Fountain, Ph.D., LPC, RPT-S, ACS, NCC, founder of Play Wellness, Inc. developed the Play Wellness Certificate - PLAY THERAPY TRAINING CERTIFICATE (PTTC). Dr. Fountain is also a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor as well as a consultant and educator at numerous universities in Georgia.

In July 2020, Dr. Fountain and Ray Barrett of Telehealth Certification Institute discussed the use of telemental healthcare with play therapy.

Terms for TeleMental Health

What do we call behavioral health sessions where the client and clinician are not in the same location but rely on technology to communicate?

There are so many terms and definitions for this that it often causes confusion.  Knowing which term or definition to use is often determined by context. Among other terms used, social workers have used the term technology-assisted social work, psychologists have used the term e-psychology, and counselors have used the term distance-counseling.  Clinicians who specialize in using texting for therapy have referred to it as text-therapy, providers marketing to tech-savvy clients have used the terms web-based or cyber-counseling.  

PSYPACT Allows for TelePsychology Across State Lines

The Psychological Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) was approved in 2015 by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Board (ASPPB – the alliance of psychology boards in US and Canada). By definition, a compact is an interstate agreement allowing states to enact legislation and enter a contract for a specific, limited purpose or to address a particular policy issue. One of the greatest advantages to any interstate compact is establishing a solution that uniformly addresses multi-state issues.

Mental Health Apps

 The use of mobile devices and mobile apps have become the norm. Mobile apps solve people's need for purchases, information, connection, health and nutrition tracking, and mental health. Deciding which mobile app to use for a specific mental health need, such as managing depression, can be difficult. There are thousands of apps to choose from and the information available on the apps’ sales pages are often not adequate to make an informed decision.

Clinicians need to be competent at reviewing apps before recommending them to clients. Individuals seeking to utilize apps also need guidance in making a smart decision. Professional organizations have carefully created guidelines for evaluating apps for mental health. For example Raymond Barrett, our CEO, as a member of the American Telemedicine Association has been on an ATA task force for establishing tool for evaluating mobile apps for depression.

Teletherapy for Anorexia, Self-Mutilation, OCD and Sexual Abuse

Steven Levenkron, M.S., one of our alumni, is a groundbreaking and well-known psychotherapist specializing in anorexia, self-mutilation, OCD, and sexual abuse. He is the author of both fiction and non-fiction books which provide theoretical analyses in his areas of expertise. In a career that began in 1970,  Levenkron has provided over sixty-thousand hours (and counting) of therapy and boasts a 90% recovery rate for his patients.

Ray Barrett of Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC recently sat with Steven Levenkron to discuss his years of experience and the success he has experienced when using technology in his treatment of patients.  Levenkron has found that abuse victims are more open when care is provided at a distance. When those clients find themselves alone and in a secure environment and at no physical risk from others, they tend to open more quickly and disclose to the provider - hence, care and treatment begin much faster. For abuse victims, non-verbal communication (such as email) is the most effective for opening up, followed by audio (telephone), and video conferencing. The least effective style of meetings for this clientele is same-location sessions.

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