The Faculty

  • Marlene M. Maheu, Ph.D

801MTW – Video Teleconferencing for the Pros

6 Hours of CE Hours

Course Description

A focused, advanced course of study will help you choose the right technology, anticipate problems that are likely to occur, educate your client/patient and understand how to address the myriad clinical problems that can arise if you are not yet comfortable with how technology can complicate the delicate work needed in mental health with a distant client/patient. Developing competence with both the technical and clinical issues involved with video teleconferencing will also help you meet your ethical requirements. Dr. Maheu will explain the limits and the problems you can expect, as well as possible solutions for you to consider in choosing hardware, software and other crucial set-up issues for your online office.

Course Objectives

  • Trainee will be able to name at least 2 factors that render Skype unacceptable for health care as per NASW
  • Trainee will be able to explain the benefits of getting a Business Associate Agreement
  • Trainee will be able to name five elements of a good office set up for telepractice
  • Trainee will be able to discuss the advantages of having a camera at eye level when conducting video teleconferencing (VTC)
  • Trainee will be able to describe three elements of a recommended opening protocol for every video teleconferencing (VTC) session with a client or patient
  • Trainee will be able to explain at least two current factors that will impinge the future of mental health care, and how video teleconferencing (VTC) adoption today will help move a practitioner into a competitively advantageous position to succeed in mental health care both today and tomorrow


This fast-moving, get-to-the point and get-started series of 6, 1-hour group sessions will give you the skills and know-how to find right equipment , at the right price, and do it immediately.


  • Equipment you will need — computer, camera, monitor, speakers, what can go wrong and how to prevent problems. What is going on with SKYPE? How can you identify reasonable alternatives that offer you not only good video quality, but the kind of reliability you need with mental health clients/patients who rely on you to know what you are doing. This lesson will include “lessons learned” by professionals using VTC, and how to prevent the mistakes they’ve made.
  • Software options — how to compare email and video platforms (companies), how to use their staff, what questions to ask to be sure that you are in compliance with HIPAA and other legal and ethical requirements; which documents to get from your vendors and why they are important; what other training you need to give your staff; how the Electronic Health Record (EHR) fits into the picture for mental health. Where to find HIPAA-compliant email and text-messaging programs, and how to use them.
  • How to set up your office for maximum professionalism: backdrop (screens), lighting, sound proofing, recording, file storage, clocks, signs, cushions and curtains and other furnishings and accessories to prepare your professional setting for clinical work. Where to buy this equipment to get the highest quality at the lowest price.
  • How and why to establish the best “telepresence” possible while using VTC. How to present yourself for maximum professionalism: how to dress, not dress and which accessories and behaviors to avoid. How to arrange your camera so as to maximize eye contact and the sense of being connected to your client or patient.
  • Work with your client/patient to maximize your therapeutic effectiveness: introductory protocols, preparedness for mental health lessons; practice lessons, systems checks, how to use your VTC vendor to answer consumer issues, emergency availability of vendors, community champions and informed consent must-dos to minimize your risk. How to educate your client/patient about what you do and what you will not do online.
  • Understand what’s coming next with video technologies, including iPads, iPhones, and other portable devices (Android, tablet PCs, etc.) Learn about social media trends, recording keeping guidelines and electronic health records (EHRs) and health homes. Glimpse the healthcare revolution that is occurring worldwide, and how you can position yourself and your clients/patients to benefit maximally. We are facing a brave new world. Make it yours!

Teleworkshop Series is Designed For

  • Counselors, Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Drug and Alcohol Specialists
  • Teachers and other Educational Professionals
  • Home Health Care Professionals
  • Medical Professionals such as Psychiatrists, Internists, Pediatricians, Gerontologists
  • Psychologists, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners
  • Social Workers


  • Access to the FULL VTC spreadsheet, with name of leading VTC companies claiming HIPAA-compliance, URLs, type of service, MAC compatibility, secured email, secured chat, electronic health records, convenient contact information, pricing structure and much more.

Noted Author, Trainer and Telehealth Ethicist, Dr. Maheu has been consulting with videoconferencing companies since 1994s and brings a wealth of information to every meeting to help you better understand how to use technology to serve your particular clients/patients.

Required Reading

All readings are provided as part of your coursework at no added fee.

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