Hi everyone! I recently received the February 2009 edition of Psychotherapy Finances. In this issue a question submitted for comment asked about whether or not an online therapist has to be licensed in every state to offer online therapy. The article is not available online but here are some highlights from the response:
- Web-cam therapy is not as popular as had been expected due to the need for high speed connection and the fact that some people prefer the perceived anonymity offered through text-based therapy.
- In theory, some officials suggest that a clinician could be liable for ethics charges of even loss of license if they see a client who resides in another state.
- The state of Ohio is looking at a new rule saying that therapy takes place whereever the client is.
- There are no legal cases yet.
- Insurers are generally not happy with the concept of Internet services but coverage remains in place.
- The first person who gets hit (with a lawsuit) will get hit big.
- Even so, many individuals are seeking therapy online.
- Various associations offer ethical guidelines but retain attitudes ranging from indifference to hostility.
- Informed consent may need to be modified for online work.
- It is suggested that if your license is listed on your website, you come under the jurisdiction of the license regardless of what service you state you are providing (consulting, coaching or advice).
I recommend this publication to any clinician but particularly if you are in private practice. While this particular article is, in my opinion, heaped with negativity, it does offer points that those of who practicing online should be concerned with.
To all of our non-U.S. followers- forgive this U.S.-centric post!!