You’re a marriage and family therapist intern working under supervision. You roll your chair up to your computer and log onto the Internet to conduct some online counseling sessions. Does this “telemedicine” time count towards the experience you need to obtain your license as a counselor?
What if you’re already licensed as a counselor, and you’re taking an online education course to brush up on your skills? Do those hours count toward license renewal? With online counseling and education programs booming, you need to know the answers so you can meet the legal requirements for licensure.
Range of regulations
When it comes to obtaining your license, some state laws either don’t address the issue of accepting online hours or use vague terminology. For example, if you live in Virginia, state regulations require you to have “direct client contact” for 240 of the 600 hours of intern experience to become a marriage and family therapist. But, the regulation doesn’t define whether that contact must be face-to-face in an office setting or if online counseling with a video camera is acceptable. Other states may allow online counseling hours.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of The Internet-license connection article.
Reprinted with permission from Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO); 159 E. County Line Road, Hatboro,PA 19040 1-800-982-9491 HPSO Risk Advisor 2011-2012.
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