Thursday, May 16, 2013

Use of Technology

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.

  Secure computer:
 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.