While teletherapy was nearly unheard of in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic skyrocketed the popularity and availability of virtual visits. Suddenly, location didn’t matter so much anymore, which opened options up for people seeking therapy. Can’t find a therapist within driving distance who specializes in a service you need? Now you can work with a therapist hours away, from the comfort of your own couch.
There was still one little problem: licensure for mental health professionals is controlled at the state level. That means that a therapist can typically only practice inside the state in which they’re licensed. Fortunately, a few states recognized the need for greater accessibility to mental health care and formed PSYPACT in 2015. When the pandemic hit, many more states joined PSYPACT to ensure that their residents would have more access to crucial mental health support.
PSYPACT - The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact - was formed to facilitate telehealth and temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of mental health services across state lines. It’s essentially an agreement between participating states that allows licensed psychologists to practice in any of those states, as long as they hold a license in one of them. That means that a patient in North Carolina can work with a therapist in California via teletherapy!
As of now, only psychologists can utilize PSYPACT to provide therapy across state lines. This means they must have a PsyD or a PhD in Psychology. To join PSYPACT, they must complete a rigorous application process to verify their credentials and experience and ensure that they are in good standing in their profession.
If you’re thinking “Why would I need to work with a therapist outside of my state?”, here are some situations in which PSYPACT might benefit you:
At the writing of this article, the following states participate in PSYPACT:
Check here for an up-to-date list of PSYPACT states.