Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Online Therapy Practice Going | Roy Huggins

How do you successfully start and sustain your online therapy or counseling services? Should you expand your brick-and-mortar services or go 100% virtual? How do you choose a technology platform that works for you? Also get practical tips and considerations on

  • Choosing technology and onboarding patients
  • HIPAA, security, and patient consent
  • Special considerations during COVID-19 and after (like crossing state lines)

If you didn’t get your question answered during the talk. Please check out some of Roy’s answers below:

Q: Can you talk about paperless practice? [Jo]

This is a big, big question. This article can provide a starting point:
We also have a valuable service for people getting into going paperless: 

Q: Is it beneficial to record the session for the client to listen to later? What are your thoughts on recording sessions? [Christie]

The usual standard is to heavily discourage recording. However you manage it, it should be addressed in your informed consent. 

Q: does client need a large screen as well as therapist to maximize value of therapy?[Florence] 

It certainly helps. The research I cited was on the clinician’s ability to assess the client’s affect and mental status, however. 

Q: Regarding microphone feedback … any idea why I get feedback time to time? Is it the internet? I use MacBook Pro with Bose noise cancelling headphones AND other headphones. [Ahn]

Your client’s microphone is too close to their speakers. This course goes into that question and more, very practical information about working via videoconferencing: 

Q: Does PSYPACT include Canada? Any recommendations on practicing cross-border to Canada? [Keith]

The PSYPACT website has a map of included states, along with more info about the program:

Q: What if I’m a naturopathic doctor, licensed in Washington, but living in a state that doesn’t license NDs AT ALL?![Christie]

A: The analysis for legality is the same. This article spells that out with counselors as the example:


About Our Speaker

Roy Huggins, LPC NCC, is a counselor in private practice who also directs Person-Centered Tech. Roy worked as a professional Web developer for 7 years before changing paths, and makes it his mission to grow clinicians’ understanding of the Internet and other electronic communications mediums for the future of our practices and our professions.

Roy is an adjunct instructor at the Portland State University Counseling program where he teaches Ethics, and is a member of the Zur Institute advisory board. He has acted as a subject matter expert on HIPAA, security and clinical use of technology for Counseling licensure boards and both state and national mental health professional organizations. He has co-authored or authored 2 book chapters, and he routinely consults with mental health colleagues on ethical and practical issues surrounding tech in clinical practice. He served for 5 years on the board of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association and then the Oregon Counseling Association as the Technology Committee Chair.