Everyone uses some form of new technology in their practices.
All sources must be secure and confidential. Examples include: personal computers to write and store case notes; fax and email attachments to transmit confidential data; and confidential conversation on wireless phones.
o It is ethically acceptable to use phone for crisis situations.
o Do not permit unauthorized access to information
o Retains a record of communications to and from the system
o Prevents alterations in or loss of data entered
o Recovers completely and effectively from unexpected disruptions
Internet Counseling Relationship
o A system must be in place to ensure counseling not violated by imposter, on both the part of the therapist or the client.
o When counseling minors online, parent or guardian must consent and identity must be verified.
o Counselor is responsible for explaining to client how to reach therapist in cases of emergency when counselor is not online.
o Plan must be in place to continue counseling during times of technical difficulty to ensure there is no possibility of client neglect.
o As part of the counseling orientation process, the Internet counselor explains to clients how to cope with potential misunderstandings when visual cues do not exist.
o Local crisis assistance must be identified prior to beginning counseling.
o Therapist website must be a barrier-free for clients with disabilities.
o Cultural awareness is still an important issue.
Confidentiality in Internet Counseling
o The Internet counselor informs Internet clients of encryption methods being used to help insure the security of client/counselor/supervisor communications.
o Clients must be informed of how long online information is saved.
o Session data may include
⋅ Internet counselor/Internet client e-mail,
⋅ test results,
⋅ audio/video session recordings,
⋅ session notes,
⋅ counselor/supervisor communications.
o Authorization releases are still applicable.