What does it take to grow as a professional throughout your career as a therapist? As the therapy field is constantly evolving, specialists need to keep learning to stay abreast of the latest approaches and techniques. To start your own therapy practice, you’ll generally need to be accredited in your state and have formal education. However, flexibility and a desire for lifelong learning will ensure that you’re always aware of changes in legislation and effective therapy trends.
Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.
Lifelong learning enables those who seek self-development or further education to meet their needs. Let’s overview resources that will assist you in pursuing this concept.
5 go-to therapy licensing resources
No matter if you’re at the start of your career in the therapy field or have years of experience, you still have to regularly check the latest changes in legislation. We have listed resources for counselors and therapists that might help you stay up to date on legal matters. Check them out.
The American Psychological Association provides all the latest news in the therapy field and uncovers the most pressing issues. The APA website offers recommendations to help therapists understand how laws and rules are applied in practice. Regularly check the APA portal for:
- general legal news
- articles and recommendations
- job fairs and educational opportunities
The association provides information about licensure-related matters, ensuring you’re aware of all current requirements. It also provides you with updates, guides, and recommendations concerning credentialing and education, divided into sections for:
- early career psychologists
- specialists practicing psychology under PSYPACT
- therapists looking for licensure information
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists provides a range of services dedicated to licensure mobility and professional visibility, as well as educational materials to help you boost your theoretical knowledge and prepare for sessions. On the National Register website, you’ll find:
- information on conferences
- webinars and podcasts from top industry specialists
- tips on continuing education
This resource provides immense help to therapists working with families and couples. It contains dozens of articles dedicated to the legal side of therapy practice as well as urgent matters connected with changes in the industry. Check it out for:
- requirements to become licensed and practice in a certain state
- information on certification and accreditation
- online education and training materials
The NBCC portal offers up-to-date information on counseling and therapy along with state licensure and license verification information, and listings. You’ll find:
- application and management services for NBCC credentials and CCE
- state licensure information
- resources to help with examinations
All of the organizations listed above will help you stay on top of the latest news, and legislation changes, and assist you in pursuing your career, so make sure you regularly check for updates.
27 tools for therapists to boost their online practice
Providing therapy requires lots of concentration. That’s why every therapist has a set of tools to assist them in matters that can be delegated to software. There are multiple software solutions with the potential to make your work easier. However, you can’t just choose them at will, as the reliability of your chosen software can define the success of your practice, especially if you offer online therapy sessions.
Here are some basic requirements that will help you find your holy grail in the diverse world of therapy tools:
- HIPAA-compliance. HIPAA requirements are related to implementing technical security measures and protecting health records. In the U.S. you aren’t allowed to use software that isn’t HIPAA-compliant.
- SSL encryption. To protect your patients’ health records and ensure your communication is secure, choose therapy tools for counselors that offer data encryption.
- Two-factor authentication. This either requires additional authentication with your mobile phone or via a special authentication app to log in to the application.
- User-friendly interface. Check if the solution you’ve chosen is comfortable both for you and your patients to avoid situations where you and your patients feel stuck because you don’t understand how to use the tool or your patients are struggling with a complex interface.
- Reliability. Look for tools for therapists that have no downtime, and don’t have a history of crashes or bugs.
Want to learn more about the features teletherapy software can offer? Check out must-have telepsychology software features.
Now, let’s move on to tools that fit these basic requirements. We have grouped them for your convenience.
Appointment booking calendar tools
These tools should be HIPAA-compliant and allow patients to schedule their own appointments. They might offer secure payment system integrations, notifications, rescheduling, and booking cancellation options. As a therapist, you will be able to define your schedule by setting your working hours, breaks, services, and prices. After that, patients can book sessions. Some of these solutions also notify therapists and patients after a successful booking and let them know when the appointment date and time is approaching.
ExpertBox is all-in-one HIPAA-compliant therapy practice management software that provides you with a set of must-have functionality for:
- smart notifications
- setting breaks for therapists
- embedding a customizable booking widget
- setting featured services and prices
- sending documents and intake forms
- managing availability
- Google Calendar synchronization
- rescheduling rules
SimplyBook.me is a standalone HIPAA-compliant booking tool to empower both your sales and booking process with functionality for:
- coupons and gift cards
- team functionality
This standalone scheduling tool assists you with secure patient scheduling and provides:
- self-scheduling functionality
- reminders and notifications
- coupons, subscriptions, and certificates
- appointment packages
- integration options
This is a simple web tool for scheduling that wasn’t primarily designed for HIPAA compliance but has security options to meet HIPAA requirements. Google Calendar provides you with:
- easy scheduling
- two-factor authentication
- cancellation and rescheduling options
HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platforms
HIPAA compliance is a must for a video conferencing tool, as is HD video quality. Look for plans that provide secure communication and check how many hours of video calling they offer per month.
ExpertBox offers video conferencing features along with other options to help therapists in providing teletherapy services. It provides one-on-one and group conferencing options, conference recording, and screen sharing functionality.
A tool most patients are accustomed to using, Zoom has the necessary options to provide video therapy sessions. Zoom’s functionality is similar to that of other video conferencing tools. However, make sure you have a subscription version of Zoom that is HIPAA-compliant.
There are multiple reasons to prefer other telemedicine solutions to Zoom. Check them out in our article explaining why Zoom is not the best option for telemedicine.
If you own the Microsoft Enterprise E3 or E5 package, you can use Skype for teletherapy sessions. Otherwise, Skype won’t be HIPAA-compliant. Ensure you have purchased the Microsoft Enterprise package in case you prefer Skype and already use Office 365 tools.
SimplePractice is another all-in-one teletherapy solution that comes with HIPAA compliance and offers both one-on-one and group conferencing along with additional options such as screen recording and sharing.
Task management tools
When you choose a task management platform, ensure it is HIPAA-compliant and offers functionality that covers your practice’s needs. Often, task management tools help therapists not only manage their workflow but also add assignments to specific practitioners, providing synchronization of tasks across the team.
This HIPAA-compliant solution makes it easier to work as a team, offering task assignments and management along with secure patient notes and profiles all within one clear and flexible interface.
This tool is often used as a standalone task management solution for secure task list creation. It supports multiple users, statuses, and analytics dashboards.
The OneDesk project management tool possesses features to assist you with automated customizable workflows, collaboration functionality, and integration options.
Intuit QuickBase is another project management tool that is HIPAA-compliant and has workflow automation and data integration functionality under the hood.
Document sharing and e-signature tools
These therapy tools for therapists provide an easy way to obtain any necessary agreements by effortlessly sharing documents. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Within the ExpertBox tool, you can create a document, share it with your patient, let them sign it within the same interface, and get notified when the signed document is ready. You can also view it within the app interface.
This tool provides you with the functionality needed to create, send, and obtain e-signatures for documents securely, offering approval workflows, templates, and CRM integration features.
JotForm offers a range of verification features including form signature, unique ID submission signature, a terms and conditions acceptance option. There are also diverse integrations to help therapists work with their online patients faster.
This email encryption and attachment tool offers an e-signature feature along with signature requests and encryption key management.
Intake form builders
Intake form builders let you create HIPAA-compliant forms to collect patient intake data before or after a session, helping you get a better grasp of your patients’ expectations, challenges, and needs. Let’s check out tools offering such functionality.
With ExpertBox, you can ask questions prior to a session, building questionnaires according to your needs. All received information is kept secure and is attached to a patient’s profile so you can easily access it.
NexHealth offers diverse features to assist you in your practice, including digital form completion for intake questionnaires.
This tool can also be used for secure data collection. It offers versatile pricing options so you can pick the integration features you need.
Choose the JotForm plan that corresponds with the number of forms you plan on using and securely collect answers.
Tools for secure notes
Such solutions will help you implement secure paperless notes in your practice that are at hand whenever you need to access them.
You can use the notes functionality in ExpertBox to keep all observations attached to a patient’s profile while knowing this information is secure.
Mentalyc is a standalone tool for generating therapy notes from video sessions and keeping them securely within your EHR tool. This tool is HIPAA-compliant and supports teams.
This therapy practice management tool comes with therapy notes functionality, helping you organize your observations.
The Long Text feature in JotForm allows adding notes to forms to help therapists organize them.
As a therapist, you need to use HIPAA-compliant payment platforms that are protected and meet security standards. Check out the ones listed below to see what features they bring to the table.
The all-in-one ExpertBox platform provides secure HIPAA-compliant payment functionality with the ability to get paid in advance and confirm a booking after payment is made.
Ivy Pay is a secure application tailored for solo therapists that processes credit card payments while keeping all information secure.
This application offers cloud-based secure billing functionality that is connected with scheduling functionality, helping you keep appointments in sync with payments.
SimplePractice offers integrated online payments, has an autopayment option, and generates bills. Insurance coverage reports are also available for an additional fee.
Social media management tools
Regularly posting content is no big deal when you use a tool for scheduling publications. You’ll be able to create publications, set dates and hashtags, and work on social media content plans using the platforms listed below.
This app offers post planning, scheduling, and analytics tools for the most popular social media platforms, as well as post drafts and link tracking.
With support for multiple social accounts, roles, and permissions, along with post scheduling and a content library, Hootsuite makes it easy to reuse your existing content.
Along with post scheduling, SproutSocial will help you get analytics of your social media activities and create custom workflows for multiple approvals and steps if you work as a therapy team.
With this tool you can create a marketing calendar and manage tasks. It also provides post scheduling options. You can also use CoSchedule to create social media campaign templates and promote your services using ads.
Reputation management tools
Use these tools to know when someone on the web mentions you or leaves feedback. They will help you grow your online reputation faster by enabling you to respond to both negative and positive feedback.
This tool makes you aware of any mentions of your practice on the web. It also provides you with social media management functionality so you can publish content on your social media profiles.
With this app, you can monitor reviews and referrals and communicate with prospects, as well as use the ticket system to resolve any issues reported by your existing patients.
If you have a website, Podium will let you implement a website chat, use custom message templates to automate communication, and set up automatic responses and topic-based routing, making pre-booking communication with leads much easier.
Google Alerts is a free solution from Google for monitoring content. You can set it up to alert you whenever your practice or your name is mentioned on the web.
Did you know that switching between different platforms might lead to data loss and security breaches? It’s always best to use an all-in-one HIPAA-compliant platform. Learn more about the top telehealth solutions for therapists.
5 worksheet, form, and handout resources to help your practice
Creating worksheets and checklists is part of any therapist’s job. Shareable materials allow you to provide recommendations for your patients so they can maintain or even increase the positive effects of therapy. It’s also possible to use existing worksheets and handouts as a starting point to develop your own. Check out these five platforms that will provide you with free materials to use in your practice.
Therapist Aid is a treasure trove that offers you tracking logs, scales, exercises, and lists to apply in your work. Within Therapist Aid, you’ll find materials dedicated to different mental health issues, including worksheets related to parenting, relaxation, and art therapy.
The Black Dog Institute offers free fact sheets on depression, anxiety disorders, and mental health maintenance. Additionally, there are materials related to stress relief, well-being, and self-care both for patients and therapists.
In the Morning Light Counseling Library, you’ll find materials related to anxiety, depression, and cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as tips and checklists dedicated to emotional wellness and mental health improvement. All of them are free to use, so you can pick the ones that suit your session goals.
The therapy tools for therapists on Edumed will help you monitor yourself for burnout symptoms and effectively reduce compassion fatigue. These materials are aimed at therapists, so whenever you feel drained, take a few minutes and check out this resource.
Here you’ll find free resources for counselors and therapists on acceptance and commitment therapy that include questionnaires, checklists, worksheets, and tests. Apply them in your practice to avoid additional work on handouts.
5 online groups to connect with other mental healthcare professionals
Professional networking and communicating with colleagues empowers therapists to grow. That’s why it’s so important to get in touch with other specialists in your field. We have collected five groups that will provide you with support and ideas as well as professional events to attend and collaborate at.
In order to join this Facebook group, you have to be a licensed therapist. Here, you’ll find information on accounting, branding, and many more aspects of private practice maintenance.
This is a Facebook group where therapists support their colleagues, share experiences and challenges, and get tips for self-care as well as therapy tools for therapists that are useful in everyday practice.
This group offers a safe environment to discuss ideas, get insights into therapy practice marketing, exchange techniques, and engage in events.
The Thriving Therapists group will provide you with lots of ideas for workshops, retreats, and speaking gigs. The tight community supports both specialists involved in private practice as well as those who work in adjacent fields: writing therapy books, coaching, or organizing events aimed at group therapy.
This group offers therapists, psychologists, and social workers an opportunity to freely connect and communicate, discussing ideas and sharing useful resources.
In this article, we featured tools and resources for counselors and therapists that will not only assist you in your everyday practice but inspire you to use new techniques and help you join a community of colleagues. Subscribe to get the latest news, advice, and resource recommendations from the ExpertBox team and stay on top of updates that will help you grow.
You can get free worksheets, forms, and handout materials from these resources:
- Counseling Library
- Therapist Aid
- Black Dog Institute
Check if the tools you have chosen for your therapy practice provide you with:
- HIPAA compliance
- SSL encryption
- Two-factor authentication
- A user-friendly interface
Check out these organizations to stay on top of the most recent legislation:
- American Psychological Association
- Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
- National Register of Health Service Psychologists
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- National Board of Certified Counselors