Wendy Galyen has been owner and lead counselor at Thrive for Life Counseling, an online private practice based in Indianapolis, since 2016. Her business was one of the first solely online therapy practices in Indiana. Galyen received bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work from the University of Indianapolis, a Master of Social Work from Indiana University, and earned the Board Certified-TeleMental Health (BC-TMH) credential in 2017. She is also an adjunct faculty member and internship supervisor at several universities. Recently she shared her thoughts about how becoming a BC-TMH has helped her to better care for her clients.
Why did you decide to pursue the BC-TMH credential?
I felt it was important to be competent in the area of telemental health services and delivery. While I have 17 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families, I wanted to ensure that I was able to successfully transfer these skills into a virtual practice setting without compromising quality of care, security, confidentiality or client outcomes. The BC-TMH credential allowed me to gain tremendous knowledge and confidence as I grew my online counseling practice. I recommend this step wholeheartedly to other counselors as they take their counseling practices online.
How has obtaining the BC-TMH credential helped you in your career?
Through the innovative use of video, phone and email technology, I have been amazed by the progress my clients are making daily toward their therapeutic goals. I also support fellow counselors as they add telemental health services to their existing practices to ensure that they are doing so in an ethical, legal and HIPAA-compliant fashion. When a potential client inquires about the online therapy experience, the BC-TMH credential helps the client to know that I have the additional training and knowledge to provide counseling virtually while maintaining his or her security and also successfully integrating counseling theory into the virtual sessions. Clients will often ask me about the BC-TMH credential, and it gives them reassurance and confidence to move forward with this type of counseling.
What would you say to others who are considering pursuing this credential?
The BC-TMH credential is a wonderful way to expand your knowledge base, learn how to provide ethical, secure and HIPAA-compliant online therapy, assess client appropriateness for online counseling, and become more confident in your ability to provide services via these mediums. In addition, the credential provides an added layer of protection, as you will feel confident that you are practicing within your scope of knowledge as you deliver counseling services virtually.