recorded webinar

Optimizing Your Clinical Practice for Tele-Therapy

Optimizing Your Clinical Practice for Tele-Therapy
Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:00 pm

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Although conducting therapy over video has great similarity to providing office-based services, the new medium does present some special challenges and considerations.There is no doubt that the full range of senses and observation is reduced in the video-conference environment.  While the empirical literature strongly suggests that outcomes are as good in the tele-behavioral health as in ‘face-to-face’ environments, the practitioner may nonetheless need to make some adjustments in understanding regulatory requirements and conducting therapy to optimize care. The presentation will review essentials of licensure, record-keeping, and privacy practices for clinicians new to offering tele-therapy.   

Equipping the clinical practice for tele-therapy entails much more than securing a video-conference technology.  This presentation will focus on fine-tuning the video-conference technology used in tele-therapy, modifying the office environment to optimize the client and practitioner experience, and adapting therapeutic interventions to the new environment.  Variables such as office lighting, camera angle, background, and management of distractions are critical factors for practitioners adopting tele-therapy as a tool for expanding access to care.  

In addition, the practitioner new to tele-therapy should consider implementing the new modality as analogous to staging a one-actor play.  No performance goes live (or should!) without planning for set (office environment), script (client introduction and education about care via tele-therapy), and dress rehearsal (testing the office environment before the first client contact).  The presentation will offer guidance on tech support, testing and feedback prior to first use, as well as recommended approaches to orienting clients to tele-therapy.  

Finally, the presentation will address issues and nuances from the author’s clinical experience in anticipating and managing therapeutic issues in the tele-therapy environment.  While the equivalence of tele-therapy to ‘face-to-face’ is well established, the presenter will address some aspects to tele-therapy that may provide an improvement to office-based care, particularly to the additional value of home-based care. The value of initial and periodic self-report clinical inventories will be discussed as a means of monitoring progress and safety in the care of distant clients.  

At the end of this session, participants will be able to…
Make adjustments to the office environment to improve the clinical quality of tele-therapy.
Summarize key regulatory requirements that apply to providing mental health services via tele-health. 
Evaluate available video-conference systems to optimize session quality, availability of technical support, and adherence to regulatory requirements. 

Presentation Level: Introductory 

This webinar is eligible for 1 CE / CE Hour by APA, NBCC, the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. This webinar meets the qualifications for 1 hour of continuing education credit for LMTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and /or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Presenter(s) Biography

Robert Cuyler, PhD


Robert N. Cuyler, PhD, is the Chief Clinical Officer of Freespira, Inc., which offers Freespira, an innovative intervention for the treatment of panic disorder, panic attack and PTSD. He is the President of Clinical Psychology Consultants, LLP, his Houston, TX practice.

With more than 15 years activity in behavioral health telemedicine, he previously served as Chief Executive Officer of JSA Health Telepsychiatry as well as Clinical Advisor to MDLive/Breakthrough Behavioral and BrainCheck. His telemedicine activities have included implementation, reimbursement policy, practitioner training, technology choice, and business development. He is an author and presenter on telemedicine and technological innovations in behavioral health. He has co-authored one book and four book chapters on psychiatric telemedicine.

Dr. Cuyler provides psychological services in his Houston office, with a focus on treating panic conditions, depression, anxiety, chronic headache, and executive/professional health. He is services are also available via secure video-conference to clients in Texas.

Dr. Cuyler was Senior Vice President at Diamond Healthcare and co-founded Heritage Health Services, where he served as COO/Clinical Director until Heritage was acquired by Diamond.

Dr. Cuyler received his Ph.D. in Psychology from LSU and Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Menninger Foundation. Organizational offices have included President of the Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare, Texas Hospital Association’s Psychiatric Advisory Council, and member of the NIMH’s National Mental Health Leadership Council. He is a judge at Rice University’s annual Rice Business Plan Competition.

Professional Post

ADAA Continuing Education Credits for Live and On-Demand Programming

Learners complete an evaluation form to receive a certificate of completion. You must participate in the entire activity as partial credit is not available.  If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed below, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board to determine course eligibility for your licensing/certification requirement.

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