We have received many questions about the difference so let’s offer some clarity.
A bit of history and context first…
- The Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) certification became available in 2004 through the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), an affiliate of National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- CCE elected to contract with ReadyMinds (now owned by the Apollo Group/University of Phoenix) as the sole training provider.
- The DCC training comprised a total of 15 hours.
- I (DeeAnna Nagel) became a DCC in 2005. At the time I was President of the International Society for Mental Health Online.
- I became a trainer/facilitator for the DCC workshop in 2006.
- In 2007 ReadyMinds opted to create 2 tracks for training- Career and Mental Health – and I rewrote the existing curriculum to meet the criteria for two tracks.
- In 2008 I co-founded the Online Therapy Institute with Kate Anthony.
- In 2009 ReadyMinds contracted with Online Therapy Institute to update the DCC curriculum and the course is now offered online and in-person.
If you are a Distance Credentialed Counselor, chances are you were trained by me.
In the meantime, Online Therapy Institute is 5 years strong and we also offer training about online therapy among other topics.
Online Therapy Institute offers the Certified Cyber Therapist credential and one can choose the Online Therapy track. This credential is a 60-hour course facilitated online and generally takes three months up to one year to complete.
We had approached CCE about becoming a training provider for the DCC so that anyone taking our 60/80-hour course can also qualify for the DCC. Our desire to become a DCC provider is simply to expand DCC’s global reach and offer a value-added solution for our international students.
UPDATE: In 2018 The DCC began a phase-out and was replaced at CCE by the Board Certified Telemental Health Provider (BC-TMH). The DCC and now the new BC-TMH only offer a few education providers for the credential and Online Therapy Institute does not have current plans to become a provider. Our certification is global in nature and CCE’s certification, while popular, is US-centric.
The BC-TMH is a well-respected credential in the U.S but realistically, 15 hours only provides a cursory summary of the topic. The 15 hours of training is akin to a survey course. At OTI we extend our knowledge to 60/80 hours to fully cover theoretical implications, practical exercises, ethics and implementation of services with a distinct focus on an understanding of cyberculture so that the practitioner understands the culture to which he/she will be conducting the therapeutic work.
My plans are to continue the relationship I have built with ReadyMinds and to facilitate future trainings. OTI is supportive CCE’s efforts (we do offer training toward two other CCE credentials: Approved Clinical Supervisor, Certified International Health Coach and Board Certified Coach). This post is mainly to clear up confusion when we are asked, “Why doesn’t your training count toward obtaining the BC-TMH?”
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net