The Practical Guide to Getting A Teletherapy License Across States

by
Bhairavi KS
September 16, 2021

Teletherapy has allowed therapists to expand their clientele beyond state lines. However, practicing in multiple states comes with its own set of teletherapy license requirements. As the license regulations for each state can be a complicated and long-winded process, here, we break down the entire application process into 6 easy steps.

The Application Process

Each state has its teletherapy license requirements; however, the process remains more or less the same. Here's what you need to do to expand your teletherapy practice:

1. Keep the application ready.

Do your research. Visit the websites of the state where you need your license from, as it could help you gather critical information about the application processes. Some states require you to directly contact their licensing board for the application.

2. Get your documentation in order. 

Some common requirements across all states are graduate school transcripts, test scores, and/or license verification from the state you’re currently residing in and/or practicing in. Paperwork can be hard to get in order, but you must get all the originals and keep copies in hand to attach to applications as needed. Alternatively, you can also keep soft copies ready. It is important to plan out these details ahead of time.   

3. Reach out to your professional and academic network.

Many states require supporting materials like your supervisor’s signature or reference letters from your professors. Call or write to all your old academic and professional contacts to get the required documentation. If that isn’t a viable option, contact each state board for alternative methods to fulfill the requirements. 

4. Check the eligibility criteria.

Each state and teletherapy license type comes with its eligibility criteria for qualification, without which you will not be granted a license in that state. For example, for teletherapy in California, all social workers are required to take an 18-hour course on California law and professional ethics before they can register. Read up on the educational requirements and try to complete them before submitting your application.

5. Get the paperwork done.

If you're done with steps 2, 3, and 4, it’s time to start filling up the application forms. Don’t worry, this part is fairly straightforward. 

Please note that most states require notarized forms. You could get your forms notarized at work, through your bank, or other means. By keeping multiple copies of your materials, you can ensure that this process is easy and less time-consuming. It will also help you when you’re applying in multiple states, as you don’t have to go through the notarization process all over again. 

6. Be patient.

Now, it is time to wait. Each state board convenes at different times of the year, and the intervals between each meeting may vary. It could take a month, three months, or even longer between each meeting. Check the state board’s website for information regarding these meetings, or you could even send them an e-mail inquiring about the same. By doing so, you would save yourself any delays in the application.

The process of licensure in another state is complicated, but there is good news! Professional organizations have realized the need to make licenses portable across state borders, and they are working to standardize licensing requirements across the USA. The journey to licensure may get vastly simplified soon.

If you’re a therapist looking to pivot your career into teletherapy, or looking to make teletherapy a source of supplementary income, DirectShifts has several teletherapy positions to choose from. Click here to apply for jobs.

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