Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) or Online/Internet Therapy

4757-5-13 Standards of practice and professional conduct: electronic service delivery (internet, email, teleconference, etc.)

The Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage and Family Therapist Board (OCSWMFTB) provides the following information to Ohio consumers who choose to receive services using electronic means (e.g., “e-therapy”, online, internet therapy).

Individuals who provide counseling, social work, or marriage and family therapy services, either in person, or electronically are required by Ohio law to be licensed by the OCSWMFTB. The licenses issued by the OCSWMFTB to Ohio counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists who have met and maintained legally required qualifications are intended to safeguard Ohio consumers against unauthorized, unqualified, and improper practices and also to identify the scope and limitations of authorized practices. 

The licenses and credentials issued by the OCSWMFTB authorize Ohio counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists to practice within the State of Ohio. However, an Ohio counselor, social worker, and marriage and family therapist who otherwise engages in ESD with a non-Ohio client in another state or country, must also be authorized to practice in the jurisdiction where that client is located. Because the licensing laws and regulations for practicing will vary from one state to another, non-Ohio consumers seeking ESD should require confirmation from their provider that he or she is authorized in that particular location to provide ESD. 

A counselor, social worker, and/or marriage and family therapist who uses electronic means to provide services shall abide by all regulations of their professional practice, understanding that their practice may be subject to regulation in both the jurisdiction in which the client receives services and the jurisdiction in which he or she provides those services. 

Cautious consumers seeking ESD should consider the following:read more