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S21-208 Utilizing Technology with Couples, Families and Groups

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Category I CE

200 Adults, Couples & Families |  800 Online
Melissa Douglass, LCSW, BC-TMH
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists



Many of the published resources around tele-mental health focus largely on providing care to individuals. For many that serve couples, families, and facilitate groups, there is a collective realization of the difference in needs, assessment, communication, and engagement when providing support to more than one person simultaneously from a distance. Through live instruction, polling, and a live Q&A, we’ll compare HIPAA-secure platform features that allow for multi-point connection; review key terminology; explore single-point versus multi-point advantages and challenges; and review engagement techniques, insurance adjustments, ethical concerns, and online group guidelines when serving multiple participants.


Melissa Douglass, LCSW, BC-TMH Related seminars and products: 1

Mrs. Douglass is the founder of Goal Driven Coaching, a virtual wellness platform where she supports overworked professionals with prioritizing their wellness goals as their Alignment Coach. She is also a Distance Counselor and founder of Goal Driven Counseling, an online group private practice where the team supports individuals navigating challenging education, career, life transitions and mental health concerns through secure video conferencing. Melissa is passionate about normalizing mental health and is an advocate for wellness education in the community where she presents workshops, facilitates professional development trainings, consults with individuals and organizations, and speaks at conferences on telemental health and self-care. She continues to excel in her goal of merging quality mental health services with tech. In all ways, Melissa is ”The Virtual Clinician”. 

Agenda & Learning Objectives


01:15 Registration
01:15 - 03:00


Introduction, Terminology, HIPAA secure platforms, Ethics

Ethics, Advantages & Challenges of Multi-point connection

03:00 - 03:10     Break
03:10 - 04:15

Lecture (Continued):

Engagement Strategies, Insurance, Guidance Guidelines

04:15 - 04:30 Questions & Adjournment



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

Gain knowledge of online group guidelines, HIPAA secure platform features, and clinical considerations when engaging multiple participants.

Learn effective strategies to increase engagement and interaction with multiple participants.

Ensure awareness of safety planning, billing requirements, and increased communication needs.  

Bibliography & References


• A look at ethical issues in group counseling [Doctoral Journey GSU Blog] (2018, November 1).

• Blumer, M. L. C., Hertlein, K. M., & VandenBosch, M. L. (2015). Towards the development of educational core competencies for couple and family therapy technology practices. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37(2), 113-121.

• DeAngelis, T. (2012). Practicing distance therapy, legally and ethically. Monitor on Psychology, 43(3), 52.

• Hertlein, K. M., Blumer, M. L. C., & Mihaloliakos, J. H. (2015). Marriage and family counselors’ perceived ethical issues related to online therapy. The Family Journal, 23(1), 5-12.

• Hertlein, K. M., Blumer, M. L. C., & Smith, J. M. (2014). Marriage and family therapists’ use and comfort with online communication with clients. Contemporary Family Therapy, 36(1), 58-69.

• HIPAA Provisions of HR 2646, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. (2015).

• Holmes, C. M., & Koslowski, K. A. (2015). A preliminary comparison of online and face-to-face process groups. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 33(3), 241-262.

• Kozlowski, K. A., & Holmes, C. M. (2017). Teaching Online Group Counseling Skills in an On- Campus Group Counseling Course. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 9(1). 10.7729/91.1157

• Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services. (2016 Feb). Board.pdf

• Renn, B. N., Hoeft, T. J., Lee, H. S., Bauer, A. M., & Areán, P. A. (2019, February 11). Preference for in-person psychotherapy versus digital psychotherapy options for depression: Survey of adults in the U.S. Nature Partner Journals Digital Medicine, 2(6).

• Wicklund,E. (2017).MHealth TelehealthProviders Target Growing Senior Market.


Live Interactive Webinar Platforms




The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $65.00 and includes CE credit. Registering after June 25, 2021 will incur an additional $20 late fee. *Cancellations must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the live interactive webinar to receive a refund or a credit letter.


*All cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee

Course Completion & CE Information


Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for {3.0} Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.


ASWB Approved

Course completion requirements: To earn CE credit, social workers must log in at the scheduled time, attend the entire course, and complete the online course evaluation located in your account. After the online course evaluation is completed, you are then able to download your certificate. Partial Credit will not be given for participants who arrive late or leave early.


Unversity of Maryland School of Social Work, Office of Continuing Professional Education, provider #1611, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. UMSSW Office of CPE maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 02/11/2021 to 02/11/2024. Social workers participating in this course receive {3.0} continuing education credits.


Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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