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The uncertainty and challenges of the past year have highlighted both the importance of attending to and maintaining one’s mental health, as well as the need for greater accessibility to healthcare providers. Accordingly, an increasing number of people are opting to meet with therapists virtually, not only due to quarantine and COVID-19 concerns, but also due to factors such as mobility, geography, and convenience.
For the aforementioned reasons, several clinicians at The Center for Cognitive Therapy (CCTA) have joined the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT). PSYPACT is an interstate compact that allows psychologists to ethically provide telehealth services (as well as temporary in-person sessions) across state lines and/or jurisdictional boundaries. At the time of this article, PSYPACT legislation has been enacted and become effective in twenty-two states, including Virginia and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia. To see other states and territories that participate in PSYPACT or have PSYPACT legislation pending, click here.
Traditionally, clients have been limited to seeking and receiving mental health services from clinicians who are licensed within their state of residence, as the criteria a psychologist must meet to achieve licensure can differ between states. However, PSYPACT recognizes that in an increasingly mobile and virtually connected world, clients want and need continuity of care. Those of us at CCTA who have joined PSYPACT have done so because we want you to have access to our services regardless of where you live, your commute schedule, or whether you have access to a car. We also recognize that many clients may feel more comfortable engaging in virtual treatment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinicians must apply to and be approved by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) in order to work under PSYPACT. Psychologists who have been authorized to provide treatment via PSYPACT have demonstrated that they meet a defined level of standards to provide both virtual and in-person treatment in PSYPACT-participating states, and that they are committed to engaging in continuing education relevant to the practice of telepsychology (i.e. standards of care, confidentiality, and informed consent). CCTA clinicians who are currently authorized to practice under PSYPACT include Dr. Kyla Aimone, Dr. Emily Danon, Dr. Alexis Herman, and Dr. Mandy Thompson.
For more information about PSYPACT, please visit the official PSYPACT website at https://psypact.site-ym.com/.
 Please note that engagement in virtual therapy is a decision that must be made by both client and clinician. Whether virtual therapy is appropriate may depend but is not limited to factors such as age, privacy, and type of therapy being provided.
Dr. Mandy Thompson, Psychology Associate