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Notice to California Consumers Regarding the Electronic Delivery of Psychological Services

The Board of Psychology would like to make the following recommendations to California consumers who choose to seek psychological services over the Internet.

Individuals who provide psychotherapy or counseling, either in person, by telephone, or over the Internet, are required by law to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state. Individuals who provide psychotherapy or counseling to persons in California are required to be licensed in California. Such licensure permits the consumer to pursue recourse against the licensee should the consumer believe that the licensee engaged in unprofessional conduct.

Be a cautious consumer when seeking psychological services over the Internet, or by any other means, by doing the following:

  • Verify that the practitioner has a current and valid license in the State of California.
  • Be sure you understand the fee that you will be charged for the services to be rendered and that you fully understand how and to whom the fee is to be paid.
  • Be sure you are satisfied with the methods used to ensure your communications with and by the therapist will be confidential.
  • Be sure you are aware of the risks and benefits of receiving therapy over the Internet so that you can make an informed choice about the therapy to be provided.
  • According to Business and Professions Code Section 2290.5, prior to the delivery of health care via telemedicine, the health care practitioner who has ultimate authority over the care or primary diagnosis of the patient shall obtain verbal or written informed consent from the patient or the patient's legal representative.

If you believe you have been treated unprofessionally by a Board licensee, either through treatment over the Internet or by any other means, review our information on filing complaints.

To read section 2290.5 of the California Business and Professions Code related to telehealth, please click here: CA Business and Professions Code Section 2290.5

Updated 6/26/17