The Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) is pleased to announce a new credential, the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH). This new credential replaces the existing Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) credential. In recognition of those who hold the DCC, we offer a cost-free and expedient opportunity for our active DCC credential holders to earn the BC-TMH. This opportunity expires on October 15.
DCCs who do not wish to qualify for the BC-TMH may retain and renew their DCC credential, but only until their credential expires. The annual maintenance fee for the DCC will be reduced to $20, starting in 2019.
Please visit the BC-TMH web pages for the new requirements and application packet.
The Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) credential identifies those professional counselors who are uniquely trained in best practices for delivering traditional counseling through technological means. DCCs have met nationally established distance counseling criteria and adhere to the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Code of Ethics and Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services.
Distance counseling is a counseling approach that takes the best practices of traditional counseling as well as some of its own unique advantages and adapts them for delivery to clients via electronic means in order to maximize the use of technology-assisted counseling techniques. The technology-assisted methods may include telecounseling (telephone), secure e-mail communication, chat, videoconferencing or stand-alone software programs.
There are many differences between distance and traditional counseling. Distance counseling may be more convenient for clients. While telecounseling takes place in real time and does depend on "making an appointment,” traveling and related formalities do not present obstacles. Asynchronous counseling communications via secure e-mail adds even greater flexibility. On the other hand, telecounseling and various forms of e-mail or synchronous chat techniques demand special counseling and communication skills from the counselor, and in certain ways, from the client as well. In its own way, distance counseling may also present its own special advantages beyond the replication of best practices from face-to-face counseling. For example, some clients prefer the anonymity of a distance counseling relationship and are more free to open up and self-disclose than they would be in a traditional counseling setting. We are also finding that the power of the written word in distance counseling provides a profound impact on both the counselor and the client.
Distance counseling methods can be used as part of your counseling practice. They can help you reach a greater number of clients who need help. There will be times when your clients cannot see you face-to-face, and therefore you will need to help them using distance counseling methods. We now know that certain clients actually seek distance counseling services for both practical/logistical and personal preference reasons. Questions regarding the DCC credential should be directed to CCE at +1.336.482.2856 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.