Telehealth for California LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs


Current research, clinical considerations, and legal and ethical rules for California LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs engaging with clients effectively via technology.

3 hours CE - Meets BBS Telehealth training requirements

As of July 1, 2023, all applicants for LMFT, LPCC, and LCSW licensure in California must have completed 3 hours of telehealth training, including specific content. For those licensed prior to July 1, 2023, this training is required prior to their first license renewal on or after July 1, 2023. This course is designed to meet this requirement.

Course Description

Technology has radically changed the delivery of mental health services. These changes have inarguably improved access to care, while raising new questions about how to best attract, engage, and work effectively with clients seen via technology. In this course, we review the practical, clinical, legal, and ethical issues involved in providing telehealth, with specific focus on California state law. Specific topics include legal and ethical requirements, current research on telehealth, security and confidentiality, engagement, contact between sessions, and more.

This course is designed to conform with Assembly Bill 1759 (2022), which requires all California BBS licensees to complete 3 hours in Telehealth training prior to their next license renewal after July 1, 2023, and requires all new license applicants to prove they have completed such training as a condition of licensure as of July 1, 2023.

On-demand video format. Total running time 3 hours, 8 minutes.

About the Instructor

Benjamin E. Caldwell, PsyD is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Adjunct Faculty for California State University Northridge. He is the author of Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, and lead author of AAMFT’s Best Practices in the Online Practice of Couple and Family Therapy. He has published and presented around the country on issues related to ethics, technology, and professional development.

Learning Objectives

By completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. List at least three legal obligations for California BBS licensees and registrants at the outset of psychotherapy provided via telehealth
  2. List at least two legal obligations for California BBS licensees and registrants at each instance of psychotherapy provided via telehealth
  3. Summarize at least two key rules that HIPAA-covered entities must abide by
  4. Describe at least three current research findings regarding psychotherapy delivered via telehealth
  5. Develop a contingency plan for technology failure during session


Brief History of Psychotherapy via Technology

Early efforts
Impacts of Covid-19
Therapeutic relationship
Impacts on satisfaction and costs

Current Context

Virtual reality


Telehealth for couple therapy
Telehealth for family therapy

Legal and ethical requirements

Sources of requirements
Before offering telehealth
At first session of telehealth
At each session of telehealth
Privacy policy
Clients traveling outside of state
Clients traveling outside of country
Considerations for out of state clients
Video supervision
Ethical requirements for telehealth
Best practices

Clinical considerations

Anticipated benefit
Client preference
As therapy progresses

Contingency planning

Common ways telehealth can go wrong

Future technologies

Monitoring apps
Artificial intelligence
Virtual reality


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Course History

Course published December 24, 2022

Completion Requirements / Obtaining Your Certificate

To complete the course, you must watch all video segments in order, pass a completion quiz with a score of 80% or higher, and complete a satisfaction survey. Once you have completed all components, your certificate will be available automatically through your Dashboard.

Continuing Education

Ben Caldwell Labs d/b/a High Pass Education is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for California LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Ben Caldwell Labs d/b/a High Pass Education maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. CAMFT CEPA provider #137848. This course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, and/or LPCCs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.