Why you'll love this course

This course makes compliance with California telehealth regulations clear and achievable. It addresses in a straightforward way many of the issues clinicians worry about related to telehealth, like what to do in a crisis, and what rules apply when your client is in another state or country.

Course description

Many therapists are eager to engage in telehealth, while others are more reluctant. Those therapists who are reluctant to get into telehealth may not know that even a single phone session makes them telehealth providers under California law. In this course, we review California's definition of telehealth, its regulations for telehealth providers, and how providers can best inform clients about appropriate uses of telehealth and technology in the therapy process. Topics include interstate practice and crisis intervention. 

This course is intended for California BBS licensees and registrants. Rules for other states and license types may differ.

1 Hour CE. Recorded Video Format (recorded from a live webinar, November 2019)

Learning objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the three key elements of California's legal definition of telehealth

  • List at least three tasks required of master's-level therapists in California at the initiation of telehealth

  • List at least three tasks required of master's-level therapists in California at every telehealth session

Course outline

1. Defining Telehealth

i. California Telemedicine Act

2. Interstate practice

i. Where does therapy happen?

ii. Rules for practice outside of CA

3. California BBS regulations

i. At the beginning of telehealth services

ii. At every telehealth session

4. Best practices

i. Available best practices documents

ii. Common guidance

Included Resources:

  • Best Practices for Telehealth and Additional Resources


Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD, LMFT

Education Director, SimplePractice Learning

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#42723). He currently serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. He has taught at the graduate level for more than 15 years, primarily in Law and Ethics, and has written and trained extensively on ethical applications in mental health care. In addition to serving a three-year term on the AAMFT Ethics Committee, Dr. Caldwell served as the Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for AAMFT-California for 10 years. He served as Editor for the Users Guide to the 2015 AAMFT Code of Ethics and is the author of several books, including Saving Psychotherapy and Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs.

Additional Information

Format and Length:

Recorded Video Format (non-interactive); Total running time 61 minutes

Topic Area:

Law & Ethics

NAADAC Counselor Skill Group 8: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Development

Instructional Level:

Intermediate. This course presumes basic legal and ethical knowledge surrounding counseling and psychotherapy, but does not presume knowledge specific to legal issues in telehealth.

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your CE certificate, you must progress through all course segments, complete a satisfaction survey, and obtain a score of 80% or higher on a course completion quiz.

Who Should Attend:

California counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Publication and Review Dates:

Course Published: December 11, 2019 

Financial Support Statement:

SimplePractice Learning pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

There is no potential conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Refund Policy:

Click here to see our policies on attendance, refunds, grievances, and accessibility, and other frequently asked questions

Continuing Education Approvals:

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #145276). SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course meets the qualifications for 1 hour of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

This course is not part of our continuing education program as an APA-approved provider. See our collection of CE courses for Psychologists.

This course is not part of our continuing education program as an approved provider for state boards in Florida, New York, or Texas.

This course has been approved by SimplePractice, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 1 Hour CE. NAADAC Provider #186410. SimplePractice is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Click here to view our complete CE approval information.