Can I practice EMDR Therapy online with my clients?
We are in new territory in mental health care. How can we incorporate EMDR Therapy online practice with our clients now that social distancing and isolation is in effect? At EMDR Professional Training, we are finding ways to practice EMDR Therapy remotely with clients and maintain HIPAA compliance with the use of online tele-conferencing platforms.
Keep a few factors in mind as you work with your clients using EMDR Therapy in an online setting.
Although it’s not ideal, you can effectively practice EMDR therapy online with your clients remotely using these key points to guide your decisions.
- Your client is not highly dissociative or fragile.
- You have worked with the client before and you know how the client reacts.
You can do reprocessing, using the Butterfly Hug or passing your fingers in front of the screen, as long as the view is wide enough that your client’s eyes pass the midline.
Additionally, if you have a fragile client or a highly dissociative or new client, you can do resourcing, maybe EMD, or an early intervention. Depending on the situation, you can even use a Future Template to engender hope. You have many options within the EMDR framework to help clients, but you do need to consider your client and your own ability to practice EMDR Therapy remotely.
When am I HIPAA compliant?
Another key point in working with clients from afar has to do with your use of an online platform. You must use a HIPAA compliant platform to work with your client online. In 2018, HIPAA Journal reported ZOOM as a HIPAA compliant teleconferencing software. More recently, however, NetSec.news and other sources focused on sensitive information and client privacy expressed concern regarding ZOOM’s ability to fully protect client information.
If you use ZOOM remember a few key actions to ensure your client’s privacy:
- Use the Business Associate Agreement version (at cost). The basic plan does not include a BAA, so it is not HIPAA compliant.
- Always use a password for your meetings. The meeting ID is a unique number to the meeting space between you and your client.
- Enable “Waiting Room” so that you have the ability to allow only your client into your meeting space.
What are some other options for Online EMDR?
HIPAA Compliance companies such as Compliance Group confirm that ZOOM is HIPAA complaint if you use the BAA version, but other technology solutions are are out there to explore. Go to EMDRIA.org to see a recommended list of other tele-therapy platforms that may suit your practice.
We are always available to discuss solutions with you as well!
Stay home and stay healthy,