Most people are surprised to learn that I transitioned to an online counseling platform long before a worldwide pandemic entered our lives.
Covid forced many therapists into the world of online counseling in order to continue to provide care and support for their current clients. A cross-country move prompted me to research the legalities, effectiveness and logistics of online counseling in order to offer continuity for my clients.
During my training to receive my certification in TeleMental Health, I learned about how the online disinhibition effect can have a positive effect in building rapport quicker in an online setting versus an in-person setting.
Most people mistakenly believe they can continue counseling sessions while on extended trips or after an out-of-state move. However, that is not the case. The general rule across most states is that the therapist must be licensed in the state that the client is currently located. Notice the distinction made between location and residence. It does not matter if the client has residency in the state the therapist is licensed in but where the client is physically located at the time of the session.
Unfortunately, most therapists used FaceTime or Zoom to continue counseling sessions. However neither of these platforms provide the appropriate ethical safeguards that ensure confidentiality.Not all online counseling platforms are the same.
While most people are accustomed and expect most therapists to offer online appointments in a post-pandemic world, it is important to make sure your therapist has taken the appropriate legal and ethical steps to safeguard your privacy and health information.