Practicing Via Telemental Health I: An Orientation

2 CE Credit Hours. 1 Legal-Ethical Credit Hour. Continuing Education Session Replay w/ Review Exercises.

Developed by: Roy Huggins, LPC NCC
Presented By: Roy Huggins, LPC NCC; Liath Dalton

Course Description

Hands typing on a laptop with flowers and a cup of tea nearby

In this course, we’ll get oriented to essential challenges, terminology, and the legal-ethical-professional environment of telemental health. That said, this is not just a review of the basics! The world of telemental health has been developing for decades now, and it goes well beyond simply connecting with clients over the phone or video. This course will ensure you are familiar with the landscape and are well-prepared to start navigating it.

This introductory-level course for counselors, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and counseling and clinical psychologists will orient learners to the legal-ethical issues that arise in practicing telemental health and to complying with HIPAA Security Standards when using telemental health technology tools.

Educational Objectives

  • Describe the essential professional and legal-ethical issues that arise in practicing via telemental health
  • Describe the 2 main contexts and 5 main media for telemental health practice
  • Identify which entities provide authoritative information, standards, and rules for the learners’ telemental health practice
  • Comply with HIPAA when using telemental health technology tools


  1. The essential challenge posed by the telemental health medium
  2. Telemental health: modality or medium?
  3. Service delivery media
    • Avatar
    • Textual: Email, Texting
    • Phone
    • Telehealth app
    • Videoconferencing
  4. Delivery contexts: Clinic-to-Clinic vs Direct-to-Client
    • Originating site
    • Emergency contacts vs patient care person
    • Local champions
  5. Authorities and professional associations relevant to telemental health
  6. Telemental health legal-ethical issues overview
    • Identifying the rules and standards under which you practice
    • Special informed consent needs
    • Licensure and jurisdictional issues
    • Cultural and regional competence
  7. Review of technology and privacy & security concerns
    • The HIPAA Security Rule compliance process
    • The Business Associate Rule
    • State data protection laws


  • American Telemedicine Association. (2009). Practice Guidelines for Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health. Author.
  • American Telemedicine Association. (2013). Practice Guidelines for Video-Based Online Mental Health Services. Author.
  • (n.d.). Telemedicine. Retrieved August 5, 2018, from
  • Mintz Levin. (2016). State Data Security Breach Notification Laws. Boston: Author.
  • US Dept. of Health and Human Services. (2006). HIPAA Administrative Simplification . Washington, DC: Author.
  • US Dept. of Health and Human Services. (2013). HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule . Washington, DC: Author.

This course is part of our Telemental Health Certification Program, and cannot be purchased individually. 

Presented/Developed By

Roy Huggins, LPC NCCRoy Huggins, LPC NCC, is a counselor in private practice who also directs Person-Centered Tech. Roy worked as a professional Web developer for 7 years before changing paths, and makes it his mission to grow clinicians’ understanding of the Internet and other electronic communications mediums for the future of our practices and our professions.

Roy is an adjunct instructor at the Portland State University Counseling program where he teaches Ethics, and is a member of the Zur Institute advisory board. He has acted as a subject matter expert on HIPAA, security and clinical use of technology for Counseling licensure boards and both state and national mental health professional organizations. He has co-authored or authored 2 book chapters, and he routinely consults with mental health colleagues on ethical and practical issues surrounding tech in clinical practice. He served for 5 years on the board of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association and then the Oregon Counseling Association as the Technology Committee Chair.

He really likes this stuff.

Course Co-Presenters

Liath Dalton is a Ph.D candidate in Religious Studies. She began her academic career at Reed College and continued her graduate work at the University of Cape Town.

Liath is the Deputy Director for Person Centered Tech and runs our HIPAApropriateness review program. Through her combination of experience evaluating products for their utility and security in regards to how they can meet risk management needs and providing guidance to members around what product options will best meet their specific practice needs, Liath has an intimate knowledge of both what the practice tech needs are for mental health professionals and what it takes for a product to meet those needs.

Program Notices

Accuracy, Utility, and Risks Statement: The contents of this program are based primarily on publications from the US Department of Health and Human Services, publications from attorneys, and on guidelines and/or ethics codes of these professional organizations: AAMFT, ACA, APA, ATA, NASW, and NBCC. Some interpretation and analysis presented is made by the presenter, in consultation with knowledgeable colleagues and expert consultants. Statements about applications to technology are according to presenter’s understanding of the technology at the time of the program. The presenter may not know how to apply all principles discussed to every technology type or product. This program discusses strategies for complying with covered ethics codes and HIPAA, and for legally and ethically providing telemental health services. It may not include information on all applicable state laws. Misapplication of the materials, or errors in the materials, could result in security problems, data breaches, or non-compliance with applicable laws or ethics codes.

Conflicts of Interest: None.

Commercial Support: None.

This course is subject to our cancellation/refund policy and complaint policy.

This course is part of our Telemental Health Certification Program, and cannot be purchased individually. 

Hands typing on a laptop with flowers and a cup of tea nearby

2 CE Credit Hours. 1 Legal-Ethical Credit Hour. Continuing Education Session Replay w/ Review Exercises.

This course is part of our Telemental Health Certification Program, and cannot be purchased individually. 

You are not currently logged in to this site. Need to log in? Click here→

20% off most everything

Find financial breathing space in your budget, peace of mind that you are moving forward in your HIPAA security compliance, and support in making a decision when things feel so unstable.

It’s not everything you need, but we hope this discount will help you feel empowered to work within your capacity.

Read our letter of love to you during this tough time

Not Interested

Scheduled Maintenance

We will be temporarily taking the website offline at 10:00 PM Pacific (1:00 AM Eastern) tonight, July 6, in order to make some improvements. We plan to be back online by midnight Pacific (3:00 AM Eastern). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Dismiss