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Telehealth, The New Standard:

Ethical, Legal, Clinical, Technological & Practice Considerations

13 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $99.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Course fulfills the California and other states' ethics and law requirements.
Course may qualify for insurance discount. Check with your insurer.

CE Credits for Psychologists. CE Credits (CEUs) for LMFTs, Social Workers, Counselors and Nurses.
CE Approvals by BBS-CA, ASWB, NBCC, NAADAC, CA-BRN & more.
Zur Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Zur Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This course is also offered as part of a TeleMental Health & Digital Ethics Certificate of 27 CE Credits.

Save time & money with our Online Packages.

Simply follow these steps:

1. Sign up securely online.
2. Read/listen to the articles & audios.

3. Submit evaluation & post-test.
4. Print your certificate.



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Telehealth: The New Standard

Telehealth, TeleMental Health, E-Counseling or E-Therapy may encompass the practices of not only those providing avatar or phone therapy, but also the use of video-conferencing, emails, chats, or texts with clients. Many therapists came of age and trained before the era of widespread technology – and many more, who trained in the digital era, simply did not receive instruction in the areas of legal, ethical, and clinical aspects of telehealth. Indeed, these areas are continually developing. The ethics and protocol for digital communication are growing rapidly as new technologies come out every day. This course brings the most current information from telehealth experts in the wide and varied areas of telehealth, telemedicine, and related ethical, technological, practice, and other considerations.

With clients in rural areas, prisons, clients who do not wish to be seen walking into a therapist's office, clients who find frequent-intermittent communication more useful than a weekly block of time, clients who feel freer to connect in text form than face-to-face - all of these populations, and more, can benefit from receiving telehealth services. While many in the field of psychotherapy have resistance to telehealth, consider that we as a society have been using crisis phone lines for dozens of years and in so doing have saved thousands of lives. These crisis phone lines are a version of telehealth. Consider the homebound patient or the LGBT youth living in a homophobic environment; these and millions of other people may go without mental health services rather than seek them out face-to-face. Finally, we have the issue of culture. Digital natives are accustomed to seamlessly transitioning between work, play, and personal development. A static face-to-face session that occurs no matter what the week brings runs contrary to the Web 2.0 culture of spontaneity and flexibility.

Telehealth: The New Standard

This Introductory level course includes seven engaging and informative audio interviews, all of which come with written transcripts, and several articles. The first section includes three audio interviews: Dr. Ofer Zur on an overview of telehealth issues, Dr. William Doverspike on the ethics of telehealth, and Dr. Larry Drude on telehealth guidelines and other e-therapy ethical considerations. This section also includes an in-depth introductory article by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on the provision of telehealth services. The second section includes five content-rich short articles on telehealth, video conferencing, HIPAA, conducting therapy across state lines, reimbursement, and other pressing issues. The third section discusses issues related to the delivery of telehealth services. It includes audio interviews with Jay Ostrowski, MA, LPC and Willie Miska on the logistical, technological, and practice aspects of providing telehealth services.

The fourth section discusses online marketing and social media issues and includes audio interviews with marketing experts Dr. Joe Bavonese and Casey Truffo, MFT. The fifth section is composed of a single, in-depth article on the psychotherapy of cyberspace, with telehealth scholar Dr. John Suler. The sixth section includes information on telehealth ethics and regulations, with work by the Canadian Psychological Association. This section includes relevant codes of ethics, relevant state laws, and a sample telehealth disclosure form. And finally, the course includes a comprehensive resources list for more information.

Disclaimer: This course is purely educational and does not intend to serve as a license (or permission) to mental health professionals to prescribe or practice any of the approaches discussed in this course unless they fall within the scope of practice of your profession. Check with your licensing board about the scope of practice of your profession to make sure you practice within that scope.



Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to
  • Establish appropriate office policies for online/digital interaction.
  • Conduct telehealth in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Explain the important construct of the online disinhibition effect.
  • Explain the Skype-HIPAA controversy.
  • Name some of the grey areas in the field of telehealth.
  • Determine the elements of an ethical telehealth practice.
  • Assess one's own ability to conduct telehealth.
  • Critique the current system of restriction of psychotherapy across state lines.
  • Compare the pros and cons of various telehealth media.
  • Cite developments in tele-medicine as evidence for the viability and need for tele-mental-health.
  • Discuss logistical advantages to conducing therapy via telehealth.
  • Review the available telehealth modalities.
  • Develop a plan to professionally move in the direction of telehealth.

Course Syllabus:

  • Introduction to Telehealth
    • Definitions

  • Skype and HIPAA
    • The controversy
    • Arguments that Skype is HIPAA compliant
    • Arguments that Skype is not HIPAA compliant
    • How to proceed

  • Conducting Therapy Across State Lines
    • Establishing residency
    • Clients who are traveling vs. clients who live out of state
    • Providing psychotherapy services to clients who live in other countries

  • Tele-Medicine Developments
    • Available technology
    • Preventative distance medicine

  • Telehealth in Practice
    • Populations who can benefit
    • Advantages for therapists
    • Advantages for clients
    • Reimbursement

  • Reluctance to Telehealth
    • Baby Boomer relationship to digital technology
    • Many generations' resistance to technological developments

  • Requirements for a Thriving Telehealth Practice
    • Comfort with technology
    • Working within one's scope of practice
    • Skills of online communication

  • Ethics of Telehealth
    • Ethical online  marketing
    • Ethical Social Networking marketing
    • Professional Associations' Codes of Ethics

  • Legal Issues in TeleMentalHelath
    • CA and other states laws on Telemedicine
    • Practicing across state lines
    • Medicare evolving Telemedicine regulations and reimbursement

  • Technology and Practical Aspects of Telehealth
    • Video-conferencing platforms
    • Where and how to start one's TeleMental Health practice
    • Links to online E-Therapy sites
    • Resources of where to being one's practice

  • Online Resources
    • Outfits That Provide Platforms for "Tele-Mental Health"
    • Use of Skype in Telehealth
    • Telehealth Technologies
    • Telehealth Guidelines
    • Codes of Ethics
    • Psychotherapists' Professional Associations on Telehealth
    • Telemedicine Reimbursement Handbook
    • State Licensing Boards on Telehealth
    • Federal Resources, Laws, and Regulations
    • Medicare & Medicaid: Reimbursement of Telehealth
    • Professional Telehealth Associations
    • Online Telehealth Publications and Journal
    • Much more


Author's Bio


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