A gentle introduction to HIPAA for therapists

Posted by Brian Dear on Mar 9, 2017 10:32:42 AM

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) became a law in 1996 and it's extremely important to anyone in the business of providing health care in the United States. Many of you know all about HIPAA, however there still exists a lot of confusing and sometimes even contradictory information. This post is designed to provide a very gentle introduction to some basic HIPPA terminology and concepts. HIPAA can be overwhelming, but it needn't be!

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Topics: Therapy Practice Management, Client Privacy

SEO Scams and Therapy Websites

Posted by Brian Dear on Mar 8, 2017 12:03:02 PM

It's a fact that some companies catering to the private practice mental health practitioner take advantage of the ignorance of their customers in order to "up-sell" additional services. I'm not going to mention any specific names but it infuriates me when practitioners get taken advantage of! This article should hopefully demystify SEO and put to bed some outdated (and counterproductive) advice. Finally, this article should save you some money if you're considering or currently using an SEO "service." We've written about SEO before, however this article is specifically about the paid SEO add-ons offered by some website companies targeting mental health therapists.

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Topics: Therapist Marketing

Behavioral health practice management and Vivaldi?

Posted by Brian Dear on Feb 4, 2017 2:28:09 PM

The only regret we have is that we couldn't deliver sooner. We've been working hard for the past year to create the very best behavioral health practice management system ever seen. This wasn't easy. The purpose of this post is to peel back the curtain and share some of what went into this product and explain why it took so long!

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Topics: Therapy Practice Management, About iCouch

Interstate Online Therapy an exploration of case law

Posted by Brian Dear on Nov 28, 2016 5:52:59 PM

One of the most popular posts on the iCouch blog was our 2015 article Crossing the line: a legal argument for interstate online therapy. Thousands of people have read it and it still enlivens debates on the topic of cross-state online therapy. I'm not going to rehash the main points here, please read the original! However, given that the most popular question we get at iCouch is "Can I practice online therapy across state lines?" we decided that another article was warranted!

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Topics: Online Therapy, Mental Health Profession

Everything you need to know about therapist passwords..

Posted by Brian Dear on Nov 24, 2016 4:42:48 PM

As we're fast approaching the launch of the new iCouch, we're hard at word with user testing as well as creating help documentation and resources for the system. Today we were working on writing our help article about passwords and authentication and it turned into a lively discussion about how bad most systems are when it comes to passwords and authentication. Even allegedly HIPAA-compliant practice management systems still employ password and authentication practices that are stuck in the 1990s.

We've written about password security before, if you haven't already read that post, it's worth your time!

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Topics: Therapy Practice Management, Client Privacy

Suicide and iCouch

Posted by Brian Dear on Nov 11, 2016 10:37:30 PM

A friend of mine with whom I used to teach with in Shanghai, China killed himself November 9, 2016. I rarely get into personal topics on this blog but this time, I'm going to make an exception because frankly, writing makes me feel better and this gets to the heart of why we do what we do. If you don't read anything else we publish, I'd appreciate your time reading this.

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Topics: About iCouch, Grief & Loss

Optimizing your Therapy Session Pricing

Posted by Brian Dear on Oct 17, 2016 4:42:15 PM


For mental health practitioners, especially those working with cash therapy clients, setting the correct price for your sessions is often an exercise in hope mixed with a little optimism combined with a little more anxiety. In fact, choosing pricing for any product or service can be a challenge! This article ought to help demystify the process or at least provide you with some action items that can help you set optimal prices that maximize your private practice profit.

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Topics: Therapy Practice Management

The Basics of Therapist Websites

Posted by Brian Dear on Sep 26, 2016 1:24:16 PM

I admit it. I love design. To me there's nothing better than looking at mid-century modern furniture or the architecture of old churches or even watching an entire film about the font Helvetica. So when it comes to websites, I'm probably harsher than most when confronted with a bad design.

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Topics: Therapist Marketing

iCouch for mental health practice management

Posted by Brian Dear on Sep 25, 2016 11:17:18 AM

We get many inquires at iCouch about what our product is all about. Probably several dozen a week from practitioners probably a lot like you. This post is to answer some of the common questions and shed some light on just what this iCouch "thing" actually will do for your behavioral health practice.

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Topics: About iCouch

Password Security for Therapists

Posted by Brian Dear on Sep 24, 2016 9:07:04 PM

Should you let your web browser remember your passwords for online services? We all do it. Modern web browsers make it really easy to do this and, given how frequently we use passwords, it can be a huge timesaver. However, a browser that remembers passwords is only as secure as the computer running it. What this means is that if your computer is outside of your control (it's stolen, someone else in the office borrows it (even for just a few minutes,) it creates a considerable risk.

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Topics: Therapy Practice Management, Client Privacy