Law, rules and regulations, not guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations, some citations of which are listed at the end of this guideline.
Guideline 9: Engaging in Telepractice
"Telepractice" is providing service that is not "in person" and is facilitated through the use of technology. Such technology may include, but is not limited to, telephone, telefax, e-mail, internet, or videoconference. It is considered a mode of practice and the same standards that apply to all forms of practice in psychology would apply to telepractice.
Practice as a licensed professional in New York State, even through telepractice, requires the practitioner to be licensed or otherwise authorized to practice in New York. Telepractice, when used as a form of mental health practice, is subject to all practice and ethical considerations discussed in this document and in the law, rules and regulations governing licensed practice in New York State. If you are licensed in New York State and wish to provide services in another jurisdiction, you should determine the qualifications for practice and any requirements for licensure imposed by that jurisdiction.
You should consider the particular impact of telepractice on dimensions of mental health practice, including, but not limited to:
- awareness and assessment of non-verbal behavior by the patient;
- ensuring the privacy of patients and protection of confidential information through the transmission of information;
- relational and transferential issues;
- access issues such as distribution of computers and familiarity with technology;
- temporal factors such as simultaneous communication, time between responses, and formalized "sessions";
- provisions for emergencies; and
- development of technological proficiencies and on-line culture/language.
Citations of Pertinent Law, Rules or Regulations:
- Education Law, section 6509(2) - incompetence and negligence