Teletherapy refers to a range of ways of conducting sessions that are not face to face, such as via telephone or videoconferencing. Being able to “meet” for sessions at a distance can be convenient when the weather is bad or the client is traveling away from home. However, there are some barriers to doing teletherapy ethically and legally.

  • I am licensed to practice psychology only in New York State, so I could be prosecuted for practicing psychology without a license if I conduct a teletherapy session with a client who is physically located in another state.
  • Until recently, insurance would not cover sessions that are not conducted face-to-face. I’ve read in communications from my professional psychology organizations that this has either recently changed or will soon be changing. At this point, I don’t yet know whether the insurance plans I participate with will reimburse me for teletherapy sessions I conduct with clients who are located within New York State but not in my office.
  • Skype and some other popularly available videoconferencing technologies are not very secure and, thus, do not comply with HIPAA laws. There are HIPAA-compliant, secure videoconferencing technologies, but I’m not yet up to speed about how to use them.

Although I have not yet begun to offer teletherapy, I will investigate the logistics of doing so as soon as that’s feasible for me. So, please check back later; as soon as I know when I will begin offering this service, I will announce it here.