Can I Provide Telemental Health in Other Countries

Practice-Telemental-Health-Other-Countries

You can practice international telemental health, but you need approval from that country. There are reasons for this. 

International Telemental Health Defined

Essentially, when you are delivering electronic forms of therapy to a patient in another country you are delivering overseas telemental health.

Sometimes the client is an existing client who is traveling, reports they will be staying in that country for an indefinite period of time, or they have relocated.

A counselor may be contacted by someone living in another country– out of the blue– who wants to see a therapist residing in your country.

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Is it Legal To Practice Psychotherapy In Other Countries

First, you won’t find the answer to that question by contacting your state licensing board.

2) Many find it difficult to determine who to ask about delivering telemental health in another country.

3) As you may have discovered, the state where you are licensed can’t answer these questions. Your board will usually refer you to the other  jurisdiction for answers.

Why? A state cannot impose their laws upon another state or country.

4) So therefore, you are under that country’s legal jurisdiction. Is it possible to understand and access the civil and criminal processes of that country? 

 

Is It Ethical To Practice International Telemental Health

Now that you understand the legal, let’s understand the ethical issues of counseling internationally because they are of even greater concern. 

These are very personal decisions and each counselor must determine what is best for them. Is:

1) Why are they out of the country? Are they vacationing? Relocated indefinitely? Relocated Permanently? Are they a new client?

2) Assess the clinical risk of that client.

3) What is your justification for treating a client that is possibly thousands of miles from where you are licensed.

4) We are mandated to protected our clients from harm and ensure they are receiving the most appropriate care. 

Cultural Concerns of Providing Telemental Health In a Foreign Country

You deserve a former licensing board president on your side.

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